Family Magazine

Mommy Makeovers:The Pros and Cons

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum

Mommy Makeovers

While new moms experience overwhelming joy over the birth of their babies, they are often disappointed to find that rigors of pregnancy and nursing have taken a permanent toll on their bodies.

Despite dieting and exercising, many mothers find that they cannot return to their pre-pregnancy shape.

This frustration has led a growing number of new mothers to consider undergoing plastic surgery “mommy makeovers”—a term that usually indicates a combination of breast lift, liposuction, and tummy tuck, with the aim to tighten loose skin and sagging breasts that pregnancy and nursing leave behind.

But is this just another example of women being pressured into so-called cosmetic “enhancements” by our body and youth obsessed culture? Or can going under the knife really provide a positive change in the lives and well-being of new mothers?

Regardless of women’s motivations, statistics indicate that “mommy makeovers” are definitely becoming a trend. In 2012 alone, more than 325,000 American women ages 20-39 had mommy makeover procedures. One of the purported benefits of the mommy makeover is that combining all three procedures at once leads to a faster recovery and lower price tag than having the three surgeries separately.

What exactly does a mommy makeover entail

The most common procedures included in a “mommy makeover” are:

  • A breast lift, sometimes combined with breast augmentation
  • Liposuction of the love handles, hips and thighs
  • Tummy tuck to remove pockets of fat and excess skin for a flatter stomach and to minimize stretch marks

A tummy tuck is major surgery, and women should be informed of all risks associated with it, even rare complications such as infection, bleeding under the skin flap, blood clots, or insufficient healing, which may require a second surgery. Immediately after tummy tuck surgery a patient has pain and swelling, and soreness and bruising may last for weeks or months after surgery.

Tummy tucks also leave scars.  Though the scars will fade, they will never completely disappear.


After surgery the new mother will have to severely limit strenuous activity for at least six weeks. A doctor may recommend that a patient take anywhere from one week to a full month off work to recover, but a new mom usually does not have the luxury of taking time off from the hard work of caring for young children.


The cost of a tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty surgery, depends on the age, weight, and general health of the patient.  The national average for surgeon’s fees for abdominoplasty is $5,332.  This does not include additional costs for the surgical center, anesthesia, lab fees, etc.  The average cost for a breast lift is $4,401, and liposuction averages around $3,000.

Despite the physical and financial costs of mommy makeovers, new mothers continue to pursue plastic surgery in an effort to return to their pre-pregnancy bodies.  In the last decade, the number of women who have had plastic surgery has skyrocketed.  Women had 112,000 tummy tucks in 2010, up 85 percent since 2000. There were 90,000 breast lifts, up 70 percent since 2010.

A survey released in 2011 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons showed that if cost were not an issue, 62 percent of mothers say they would consider a “mommy makeover.”


Many new mothers seem to think that the surgery was worth the pain and expense.  Plastic surgery patients often say they feel sexier and more youthful after the surgery. They feel that no amount of diet and exercise could bring them the bodies they had before childbirth, and they report having no regrets.

However, critics of plastic surgery suggest that many people who choose to “get some work done” are predisposed to judging their procedures to be successful, regardless of the actual results.

There may be no one clear answer to the question of whether or not mommy makeovers are necessary or beneficial for women. For those who do pursue surgery, health care experts stress that patient education is key: Know the risks, choose a board-certified surgeon that you feel comfortable with, and make sure to have realistic expectations as to the ultimate outcome.

Author bio

Katherine Thomas writes on variety of health and wellness topics including patient safety, fitness and nutrition, and trends in cosmetic surgery. You can read more of her work about breast augmentation and tummy tuck in New York City at the website of Dr. Thomas Loeb.

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