A lot of my patients are moms who are unhappy with the appearance of their tummy after having kids. Some women are able to lose the baby weight and get back the tight abdomen that the used to have, but the majority experience changes about which they can become very self-conscious. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that we can fix these issues and get really great results.
The first step of course is to let the body heal itself, and to try and lose the baby weight and shape up through exercise. You don't want to undergo any kind of procedure to fix a baby belly until at least six months post birth; it makes sense to allow the full amount of natural improvement before proceeding with surgery. You also need to be at a stable, healthy, sustainable weight such that the results are more predictable and long-lasting.
However, even women who are slim and toned after pregnancy can be left with excess skin, which can be floppy and prune like, with ripples, wrinkles and stretch marks. Another common issue is that even after someone has lost the weight, it still looks like they are four to five months pregnant because they've got this little pot belly going on because their abdominal muscles have been stretched past their natural point of return.
The traditional solution is the tummy tuck, which addresses all of these problems. It tightens, tones and shapes the tummy in a nice way, and it is really the only way to pull those muscles back together and tighten everything up. A tummy tuck can greatly influence the overall contour of the belly and give it a more toned and tighter shape.
However, if your muscles are still very good, we might be able to get away with doing something less invasive, like BodyTite, which uses radiofrequency technology to breakdown body fat and tighten the skin. BodyTite requires less recovery time, and leaves much smaller scars (but can't fix the muscles the way that a tummy tuck can).
In terms of recovery for a tummy tuck, you're looking at a couple of weeks where you've got to take it easy. It is very much like the recovery you go through after a C-section, in terms of it hurts when you sneeze or cough or laugh, and for the first week or two you're going to be moving around pretty slow. You're also going to be wearing an elasticated girdle for the better part of four or even six weeks after the surgery. You can wear it under clothing, but you've got that thing on pretty much 24 hours a day unless you are in the shower. You'll need 2 weeks minimum off work, and you'll need help with responsibilities at home in that period. You're going to need time to chill.
I'd recommend that have a tummy tuck when you are pretty sure that there are no other babies on the horizon. If you have your tummy tuck, and then get pregnant again, your tummy gets stretched out and you lose a lot of the benefits. Costs range depending on how much liposuction needs to be done with the tummy tuck, but an average one will cost between $8000 to $10,000. A tummy tuck really is the gold standard when it comes to getting your pre-pregnancy figure back.
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