Shortly after the birth of my little daughter, something happened to me that I had never known before. For the first time in my life I accepted my body with so much devotion (even love) as it was.
Three months after giving birth, I was marred with all the usual wounds of one who has brought a child into the world. Stretch marks on my thighs, a flabby, pockmarked belly, breasts that ached from all the milk my little one gulped down in large portions, and a still-sensitive scar from the C-section.
But at that time I felt really good; maybe even more confident than I already was. In a shocking way, I felt more comfortable in my own body – in its most imperfect form – than ever before. It was as if I had realized a new way of being sexy. A kind of sexiness that showed I was at that particular stage in life where you raise and nurture a child.
And the newfound sense of purpose and self-acceptance, it gave me felt super powerful. But unfortunately, this feeling didn’t last long.
It happened without me noticing it. The moment I returned to my normal weight, my chest and stomach were completely and irrevocably sagging. I have to admit, I was not prepared for this.
What was even more shocking to me was how much it actually bothered me, how my body looked, and how much it affected my self-confidence.
In my life, I have already experienced various, different periods of acceptance, appreciation and desire for more. As for my body, I have gone through different periods of acceptance and self-esteem.
Although I have always been very petite and never struggled to control my weight too much, I have found things about myself that have always bothered me.
Since my teenage years, I have been at war with my wide hips, flat butt and short torso. As for my breasts, I always thought they were a bit small and plump.
But before my daughter was born, I never really had to worry about cellulite, sagging skin, flabby thighs or sagging breasts. These changes were all due to the birth of my daughter, which I could accept and feel proud of.
On Instagram but also on other social media there is a great movement to talk about exactly this feeling and celebrate all kinds of post-partum bodies. Women are showing off their stretch marks on their bellies and breasts and proudly proclaiming, “I earned my stripes.” Many post some pretty fierce selfies showing the “beauty of bringing life into this world.”
In theory, I completely agree with the movement and its message. As a plastic surgeon, I hate to discuss the “Mommy Makeover” trend package because I so enjoy supporting and celebrating other moms embracing their new bodies.
At the same time, however, I know that many women cannot do this so easily and no longer feel comfortable in their bodies after pregnancy and birth.
Limp, empty and sad – I just didn’t know how to accept these things.
I could not make friends with my breasts after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Similarly, many friends whose descriptions of their breasts I could easily identify with ranged from “empty balloons” to “saggy socks”.
The only way I could imagine ever feeling good about my breasts again was to do something about the way they looked and felt. And no amount of push-ups would help me do that. A post-pregnancy breast augmentation seemed like the only option available to me.
After my breast augmentation and lift, I never expected to love my new breasts so much.
They were not too big to interfere with my active lifestyle. They did, however, give me a sense of feminine pride that I never really appreciated until then. In my opinion, one of the main reasons why the changes in a woman’s breasts affect her so much is that she suddenly realizes (even if only internally) her symbolism around femininity and desire.
I know, as a surgeon who operates on mothers and is a mother myself, that I am not alone. Anyone who has breastfed at least one baby can understand why breast augmentations or breast lifts are on the rise after pregnancy.
In the last 10 years, the number of breast lifts has increased by 75 percent. But it is not a small operation; moreover, it is not something that can be easily paid for out of petty cash. It is also not something that many women talk about openly.
What for many women is the sagging breast, for others is the abdomen after pregnancy. For many mothers, the stretched skin on the abdomen does not contract satisfactorily again, the solution for many is then a tummy tuck after birth.
Is it okay to accept this post-partum body and still want to change it?
Absolutely. It’s nice to celebrate your new body after pregnancy. I also want my daughter to see what a normal body looks like and what a confident woman looks like in it.
But I also want women to feel empowered to make a decision about how they want their body to look and feel after pregnancy. This is a personal decision that each woman should make for herself, without feeling that they are doing a disservice to all women who are striving to accept change after motherhood.
The way I see it, I am not just a mother and my body is not just a vehicle to show off everything I have accomplished with a child. I am still a woman with many decades ahead of me that I want to live with self-respect and confidence.
I am happy to answer your questions about the Mommy Makeover – woman to woman. No matter whether you would like to have a breast lift after pregnancy or you would also like to fill up the breast with new volume and would like to have a breast augmentation, or your main concern is to tighten the abdomen after pregnancy.
Or maybe even all together.
No concerns or desires are out of place, my focus is to give you a new body feeling with the harmonious body shapes that are personal to you.