The Mommy Makeover is a relatively new trend – embraced by the media. But is it the expression of a real need that now finds its answer in the possibilities of plastic surgery? Or a beauty standard which many condemn as unnecessary and unnatural, since it puts even more pressure on women to be perfect in every way?
As a plastic surgeon and mother I want to share my own, personal experiences with the mommy makeover with you.
The Wonders of the Female Body
Something remarkable happened to me just after having my baby daughter. For the first time in my life, I actually embraced (even loved) my body just the way it was.
I was three months postpartum, and I had all the usual battle scars of bringing life into this world—stretch marks on my thighs, a squishy pockmarked belly, breasts full of milk that swelled and a still sensitive cesarean scar.
Yet, at the time, I felt fine, maybe even more confident. In some shocking twist of perspective, I felt more comfortable in my own body—in its most imperfect form—than ever before. It’s like I realized a new kind of sexy. A mother’s body kind of sexiness that showed I was in this particular stage of life, raising and feeding a child.
And the sense of purpose and self-acceptance that this gave me felt super powerful. But it didn’t last.
Unhappy with belly and breasts after pregnancy
It happened without me noticing it. The moment I came back to my normal weight, my breast and my belly were completely and irreversibly sagging. I must admit, I was not prepared for this. What was even more shocking for me was how much I actually cared about what my body looked like, and how much it affected my self-confidence.
I’ve experienced various, varying periods of acceptance, appreciation and wanting more.
As for my overall body image, I’ve gone through fluctuating periods of acceptance and feeling self-conscious. While I’ve always been petite and never struggled to manage my weight too much, like most women I know, I’ve found things to criticize about myself.
Since my teen years, I’ve been critical of my broad hips, flat butt and short torso. As for my breasts, I always saw them as somewhat cumbersome.
But before giving birth, I never really had to worry about cellulite, saggy skin, jiggly thighs, or the rising and falling tide of my milk-filled breasts. But those changes were all due to growing a baby, which I could accept and take pride in.