Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience. You are bringing another human into the world and are entrusted with caring for them. But it is also a body-changing experience. The months of pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as the demands of raising a child, can take a toll on your body. Many women find that their breasts are not as full and perky as they once were, their abs might not be as tight, and they may have trouble losing some of that stubborn fat around their midsection.
A mommy makeover can address all of these potential problems by combining breast augmentation, reduction, and/or lift with a tummy tuck and liposuction in one surgery. Some mothers may be concerned about the recovery process after having work done on several different areas of their body. Understanding what to expect post-op can help ease your mind.
Reminders for Immediately Following Surgery
Once you are in the recovery room, you can breathe a bit easier knowing that everything is done. Now comes the hard part of resting, being patient, and letting your body heal. As a mother, you are used to taking care of everyone else, but now you need to take care of yourself and let others help. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- You will be groggy and sore due to the anesthesia, incisions, and changes made to your body. This is completely normal, and your doctor will prescribe medication to help alleviate any discomfort and minimize swelling.
- Have a friend or family member there to drive you home. You will not be allowed to drive yourself since you just had anesthesia, and since you just had surgery on your abdomen and chest. You should avoid driving for one to two weeks.
- Ask someone to stay with you for at least the first night, and preferably the first few days. You will want someone there who can help you care for yourself. If possible, find someone to watch your children for a day or two until you settle in and your pain has begun to subside.
Important Instructions for the Recovery Process
After your mommy makeover, your doctor will give you detailed instructions regarding what you should and should not do, as well as any signs of infection or complication to be aware of. If you have questions or concerns, do not be afraid to reach out and ask. It is better to be safe.
- Drain care: Drains will likely be placed during your tummy tuck. Make sure the drain stays pinned or taped in place so that it does not pull or become dislodged. When changing the dressing, always wash your hands first, then gently wash around the drain with soap and water. Pat it dry before applying a new dressing. Call your doctor if the area around the drain becomes irritated, painful, swollen, or warm to the touch.
- Standing: Because of the tummy tuck surgery, you will want to avoid standing straight and stretching out your torso. When you get up, keep your hips flexed and stay slightly bent over. Walk slowly to reduce strain on your abdominal muscles. When laying down, try to keep your legs elevated. You should be able to stand up straight after 7-10 days.
- Bathing: While you will want to avoid taking a bath for several days – you do not want to soak your incisions in water – you can take a short shower. You may find it beneficial to use a shower seat, so you can sit down and take the pressure off your abdomen. You may also want to have someone help you wash your hair for at least the first week as you should not lift your arms above your head after breast and abdominal surgery.
- Breast support: Your doctor will wrap your breasts with a bandage or help you put on a special support bra after surgery. This will add some compression to help with circulation and reduce swelling, as well as keep your breasts from moving too much. You want to give the incisions time to heal and your body time to adjust to either the implants, reduction, or breast lift. Continue wearing a support bra or sports bra for four to six weeks.
- Physical activity: Although you should avoid any strenuous activity for at least four weeks and refrain from lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds, you do want to keep moving to promote circulation and keep your muscles from becoming stiff. After a few weeks, you can resume some light exercise with your doctor’s approval and following any safety recommendations.
- Scar care: Scar care is started immediately after surgery on your abdomen and breast to help improve the appearance. This is done with a silicone gel applied daily. Remember, it takes roughly 9-12 months for a scar to fully mature.
These are general guidelines for post-op recovery. Every woman’s recovery following a mommy makeover is slightly different, so listen to your body and consult with your doctor. Typically, you will be able to return to most of your normal activities within a month to six weeks.
Learn More About Mommy Makeover Recovery
Your local doctor or the doctors at Yarish Plastic Surgery in Houston will provide you with more detailed instructions based on your surgery and your needs in order to support recovery. Once the surgery is over, you can begin enjoying the positive changes to your body and feel more confident in your appearance.