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How Mommy Makeover surgery benefits Moms psychologically!

Dr. Horton with her twins on their summer vacation

Mothers, by their nature, are GIVERS.  We take care of our children, our husbands, our coworkers, other family members, friends…  all before we think of ourselves.  It is rare for a Mom to schedule time or activities just for herself, without feeling some degree of guilt or considering that she is taking time away from her family or from work.

Although this is difficult for Moms, to do, I encourage my patients to try their best to avoid feeling guilty when considering doing something for themselves, such as when considering a Mommy Makeover.

When we look good, we feel more confident, outgoing and happy.  It is NOT selfish or vain for a woman to want to look as fit, youthful and healthy as she can be!  You know the term “happy wife, happy life” that is often used…well, the same applies to mothers!  “Happy Mommy, happy husband, happy children” could also apply!

A woman’s body image is directly related to their self-esteem, and how they view themselves.  When a woman feels fit, healthy and sexy, her marriage benefits, the kids get to see a happy, positive, energetic mother who serves as a great role model.

Plastic Surgery is very psycho-social.  It affects patients mentally, emotionally and spiritually – usually in good ways, although there is often a lot of anxiety and sometimes dread in planning a procedure and during the early stages of recovery.  We realize that and emphasize these points in equal importance to the physical recovery after a cosmetic procedure.

Plastic Surgery can benefit a mother psychologically in ways that are often hard to measure.  That’s what a Mommy Makeover is all about.  When we look our best, we feel more secure and reflect that to others, exuding confidence, happiness and overall attractiveness.

How a mother’s body changes with pregnancy

Being a Mom of 7-year-old twin girls myself, I understand what mothers go through, and how we put ourselves second after our children, spouses, family, friends, work and everything else we need to take care of each day.  As a twin Mom, I understand firsthand how a pregnancy (especially multiple pregnancies) can wreak havoc on your body.

While I have always appreciated physical fitness, I found it nearly impossible to exercise after having my children, returning to work full-time 7 weeks after they were born.  A full summary of the changes you can expect with pregnancy are described in this blog post about “battle scars from birth“.

Breast changes after nursing and having children

I understand personally how nursing babies creates deflation (loss of fullness) of the BREASTS, and how many Moms mourn the fullness they had before pregnancy or often during breast feeding.

(I naturally have small breasts and I appreciated the fullness I experienced during the year I nursed my babies.  Unfortunately, I cannot operate on MYSELF and so I have not yet had my own Mommy Makeover.  Some day, I will, and rest assured I will tell you all about it!  My procedure of choice would be a subtle breast augmentation to help fill out lost volume but to maintain an athletic, slender appearance.  Read my “private note to mothers” thoughts here.)

Often, Moms “need a lift” (literally!) of their breasts after having kids.  A Mommy Makeover can often include a breast augmentation, a mastopexy (breast lift), a combination mastopexy with augmentation, or a breast reduction (which always includes a lift).  While a good bra can achieve nice cleavage and a sexy look in clothes, we can achieve that look permanently, while maintaining a natural look.

Plastic Surgery results CAN and SHOULD be natural, and you should always look like YOU. Mommy Makeover procedures are individualized to each Mom to help them achieve their individual goals.

As for a natural look, many of my patients are not only Moms but professionals, working outside the home in the Bay Area.  My patients don’t necessarily want to look like they’ve “had their boobs done”.  They want a natural look that helps them fill out their bra, and to achieve the look of their padded or structured underwire bra, only without all the help!

While some women do want a very round, augmented look (which we can certainly create), many Moms want to maintain an athletic, natural look that will enable them to continue in their regular activities without the average person noticing or their breasts being the focus of attention all the time.  A natural result is certainly possible, particularly with the techniques I specifically recommend for breast augmentation.

Other body changes after pregnancy

The other main area of a Mommy Makeover is the BODY – tummy, hips, thighs, and or sides of the torso, known loving as a “muffin top”.  A Mommy Makeover often includes a tummy tuck, liposuction or sometimes more specific procedures such as a labiaplasty, depending on a woman’s body and her specific goals for her makeover.

A tummy tuck (or “abdominoplasty”, in medical terms) does several incredible things at the same time, all which help reverse the effects of pregnancy and help a mother get her tummy back:

  1. A tummy tuck removes excess lower abdominal skin and stretch marks and tightens the abdominal skin
  2. Abdominoplasty repairs the muscles of the abdominal wall back together in the midline after they are permanently stretched out after pregnancies (known as “rectus diastasis”)
  3. This procedure reshapes the tummy and flanks/hips using liposuction to a more proportional, fitter contour

A tummy tuck is the ONLY procedure that can treat all these areas in a single procedure, to achieve the flattest, firmest tummy possible for Moms after they have finished their pregnancies.

Other Moms have stubborn fat deposits that will not go away no matter how hard she tries, how healthy she eats, and how much she exercises.  That’s where we can help!  Liposuction is a quick, outpatient procedure that is often combined with other Mommy Makeover surgeries like a breast augmentation or tummy tuck, to permanently remove fat deposits from these stubborn areas and give a Mom the body she deserves!  Another option to reduce localized fat deposits is CoolSculpting.  Learn more about CoolSculpting in our related blog posts.

Should procedures be combined into a Mommy Makeover?

It is common to combine multiple procedures in a single surgery – i.e. breasts with a tummy tuck or liposuction – this is classically how a Mommy Makeover is described.  By doing many procedures under one anesthetic, the results are dramatic and complimentary, there is a single period of downtime and a mother can get back to her life as soon as possible!

Considering a Mommy Makeover?  #DoYourHomework first! 

First, know this:  NOT all “cosmetic surgeons” are Board Certified Plastic Surgeons, and some are not even doctors!  It took me 16 years of university to become a Plastic Surgeon, with extensive knowledge and training in anatomy, physiology, psychology, reconstructive and cosmetic techniques, and nuances of Plastic Surgery that I use every single day.

You shouldn’t trust your body and your life to just anyone.  You are worth the very best and you shouldn’t skimp on yourself!

To learn more about Mommy Makeovers, visit the Mommy Makeover page of my website and read all our Mommy Makeover blog posts!  To schedule a consultation, complete our online consultation request form or call 415-923-3067 today.



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Dr. Karen M. Horton, M.D. - Plastic Surgery, Physicians & Surgeons - Medical-M.D., San Francisco, CA