Life gets back to normal after having a baby, but your body doesn’t always follow suit.
“Pregnancy and the birthing process can bring a lot of changes to a woman’s body and for many it can be very challenging to bounce back to their pre-pregnancy bodies,” says Dr Mark Edinburg, Medical Director of The Eden Institute. “After all, you can’t control where you lose the fat and the areas that sag.”
But surgeons can.
Mummy Makeovers have increased in popularity as an option for women who want to get back in shape quickly, he adds. However, “each woman is different,” he adds, “so there is a different surgical plan and result for each person.”
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Breast Reduction Surgery can help relieve the pain and discomfort of heavy breasts, restoring a more uplifted and youthful look, explains Dr Edinburg. “The procedure involves removing excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin through incisions made around the areola or under the breast.”
However, “hormones have an effect on breasts so it is best to wait a minimum of six months after ceasing breastfeeding before considering any breast surgery,” suggests Dr John Flynn, Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery Censor in Chief.
Mastopexy (Breast Lift Surgery) is designed to help uplift your breasts to a more youthful position. “The procedure involves lifting and reshaping the breast tissue to improve breast contour and firmness,” explains Dr Edinburg. In the process, the nipple and areola may also be repositioned to a higher position and where necessary, enlarged areolas (misshapen from breastfeeding) can be reduced, he adds.
If breast implants are used, rest assured they wont affect breastfeeding or milk production because they are placed behind the breast gland and the incision in the fold below the breast leaves the milk ducts untouched.
Of all the procedures popular with new mothers, Labioplasty is the one most personal, explains leading Sydney-based plastic surgeon, Dr Mark Kohout. “Many tell me of a concern that intercourse is not as satisfying as it once was, due to decreased stimulation for themselves and their partner,” he explains.
However, if your desire is to repair a prolapsed bladder or uterus, vaginal repair is what you are after. “The labia are anatomical features near the entrance to the vagina whereas the vagina is the hollow portion which recedes internally and through which the baby is delivered,” he explains, meaning the latter is more reconstructive than cosmetic.
However, “such repairs are usually different from the common use of the term vaginoplasty meaning just a tightening of the vagina,” he explains.
Following all vaginal repairs resumption of sex is usually at the six-week mark, however every patient is different and this needs to be determined in consultation with your cosmetic surgeon.
Liposculpture (also known as Liposuction/Lipotransfer) is ideal for those who are looking to remove stubborn fat deposits that are resistant to diet and exercise after having a baby. The procedure involves making small incisions in the affected area – breasts, upper arms, hips, thighs, knees, abdomen, calves or ankles to name a few – using a small thin tube to dislodge and suction out fat deposits.
“Recovery would normally take one to three weeks, depending on the extent of your procedure and you may need to wear pressure garments after the surgery,” cautions Dr Edinburg.
Tummy Mini Tuck:
The stomach can sag and stretch with repeated pregnancies so it is best to wait until all your childbearing is done before considering a tummy tuck.
If it is eventually for you, it can be done in combination with a liposuction, suggests Dr Flynn. “Liposuction may be used to reduce abdominal fat but may leave some excess loose skin,” he says. “Further skin tightening may then be accomplished by various non-surgical methods such as ultrasound, laser, or radiofrequency.”
Caesarian scars can also be incorporated in a tummy tuck and positioned to reduce visibility, keeping overall scarring to a minimum.