Mommy Makeover- A new beauty must-have or a need?

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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.

Good Arguments against Having a Mommy Makeover

Instagram and other social media channels are the place where a great movement for the acceptance of the female body in all its forms expresses – it is important to talk about and celebrate all types of postpartum bodies. Women are posing with stretch marks across their bellies and breasts, proudly proclaiming “I earned my stripes.” Many are posting some pretty raw selfies depicting the “beauty of bringing life into this world,” and crying out for a call to action around acceptance and love.

In theory, I’m completely onboard with the movement and its message. As an aesthetic surgeon I hate to sell the American trend “Mommy Makeover” – a package of procedures including breast augmentation, breast lift and tummy tuck. I am happy to support and celebrate my fellow mothers in embracing their new mom bod.

But what if You still Want a Mommy Makeover?

At the same time, I know that many women can’t just easily accept their new body and that they actually never feel confident again after pregnancy and birth.

Saggy, empty and sad—I just didn’t know how I could accept these things.

Descriptions, I’ve heard from friends that I can relate to include breasts that look like “deflated water balloons,” and feel like “tube socks only partially filled with sand.”

The only way I could imagine ever feeling good about my breasts again was actually doing something about them. Because the condition my breasts were in, no amount of push-ups would help. A breast augmentation after the pregnancy seemed like the only viable option.

My Breast Surgery after Pregnancy

Eventually, after having a breast augmentation and lift, I never expected to feel so strongly about my breasts.

They were not too large to get in the way of my active lifestyle. But, full and round, I think they also gave me a sense of womanly pride that I never truly appreciated until now. One of the main reasons that the changes in a woman’s breast are affecting her so much is that they suddenly recognize (even if just internally) their symbolism around femininity and desirability.

I know, as a surgeon that operates mums and as being a mum myself, that I was not alone. Anyone who has breastfed at least one baby might understand why breast augmentations or breast lifts after birth are on the rise.

In the past 10 years the number of breast lift procedures have risen by 75 percent, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. But it’s no small surgery, nor is it in any way affordable. It’s also not something I hear many (if any) women in my social circles talking about openly.

Was ist ein Mommy Makeover

Tummy Tuck after Pregnancy

While some women are unhappy as I was with the changing breasts, a lot of women feel strongly negative about their belly after pregnancy. In some cases a tummy tuck is also not only aesthetically desirable but necessary to treat a rectusdiastase. Whatever is the case, a tummy tuck after pregnancy also feels liberating for many women.

Is the decision for a Mommy Makeover a moral question?

Is it okay to embrace this postpartum body and still want to change it?

I would say yes. It is nice to celebrate your new body. I also want my daughter to see what a normal body looks like and what a confident woman looks like in it.
But I want women to feel empowered in making a decision to change the way their body looks like after pregnancy and the way they make them feel, without feeling like they are doing a disservice to all women striving to accept changes after motherhood.
The way I see it, I’m not just a mother and my body is not just a vessel that needs to show all I’ve accomplished by having a child. I am still a woman with a life ahead of me which I want to spend full of self esteem and confidence.

Do I want a Mommy Makeover?

If you are thinking about changes you’ld like see on your postpartum body, don’t be ashamed to talk about it and ask for help. I will happily answer all your questions about a Mommy Makeover – from one woman to another.

No matter if you think about a tummy tuck, breast lift or augmentation – or maybe all together.

You can make your appointment by phone at +41 41 799 70 00, by email to info@drkelly.ch or sending us a message at our contact form.