Pregnancy and childbearing are two of the most significant events in a woman’s life. Not only do personal priorities and lifestyle do a full 180 degrees, but the body changes in ways many women don’t expect.
Fortunately, surgical procedures such as the tummy tuck are available to restore pre-pregnancy figures, but there is some confusion surrounding the best times to get the procedure for maximum results.
Here, the team at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg discusses the impacts pregnancy has on previously performed tummy tucks, and when the best time to get a tummy tuck may be.
First, let’s review what physical changes occur during pregnancy, so we can better understand the effects carrying a growing child will have on a tummy tuck procedure.
What Happens to My Body During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, the average woman will gain anywhere between 20 to 40 pounds, with the uterus and lower abdomen stretching significantly as the child grows during the nine months.
Due to this abdominal swelling, after childbirth, there is often a significant amount of excess stretched skin around the belly. Furthermore, some, but not all, women will experience a separation of the abdominal wall due to the swelling of the uterus – a condition called diastasis recti.
Diastasis recti compromises the structural integrity of the abdominal wall and weakens it so that the core of the body no longer supports the body’s weight. Symptoms of this condition often include:
- Poor posture
- Lower back pain
The explicit goal of a tummy tuck procedure, often involved in a more comprehensive procedure such as the mommy makeover, is to address the medical condition of diastasis recti and to solve the aesthetic concern of excess skin.
For some women, pregnancy, and childbirth change the shape and size of the labia minora, which can bring discomfort and self-consciousness. Along with a tummy tuck or mommy makeover, a labiaplasty is another surgical procedure women who have finished childbearing may wish to consider.
What Does a Tummy Tuck Do?
In performing abdominoplasty surgery, a surgeon will tighten and reinforce the entire abdominal area by removing excess skin and suturing any separated muscles back into their original, supportive placements.
By tightening the whole midsection of the body, a tummy tuck can restore support to the internal organs, lower back, and spinal column, which solves most of the medical issues caused by pregnancy.
What we sometimes see, however, is patients either requesting a tummy tuck too soon after pregnancy or considering the procedure before they have finished their planned family.
How Does Pregnancy Affect a Tummy Tuck?
If you get pregnant after a tummy tuck procedure, the significant changes to your body will undo all the benefits of the tummy tuck.
A tummy tuck will not prevent your body from gaining weight again, nor will it stop the uterus from stretching to accommodate a growing child.
Furthermore, your body needs to adapt to post-pregnancy, and your body needs to return to its healthy weight after childbearing and nursing.
Because of all these factors, we strongly recommend women wait at least 3-6 months after pregnancy before getting a tummy tuck or mommy makeover procedure. This waiting period gives your body enough time to recover from pregnancy and reach a healthy post-pregnancy body weight.
Also, if you are considering multiple pregnancies, we advise not getting a tummy tuck until you have finished growing your family as subsequent pregnancies will reverse the aesthetic and functional benefits of this surgery. However, if you were to get pregnant after a tummy tuck and develop recurrent muscle and skin laxity, it would be possible to perform another tummy tuck to correct this.
Tummy Tuck in Fredericksburg, VA
Childbearing is a gift, an exciting and transformative time in your life. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy motherhood alongside procedures like the tummy tuck and mommy makeover, but timing is critical.
If you follow the advice outlined in this article, you will get the best results possible from your tummy tuck. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with the expert team at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg, don’t hesitate to call 540-371-7730 or fill out our online form now. We look forward to hearing from you.