Women with children at home who are considering Mommy Makeover surgery at my Los Angeles plastic surgery practice often share worries about being able to take care of their family after the procedure. Guilt and feelings of selfishness sometimes surface during the consultation because they feel like they should be taking care of their family’s needs first.
I reassure them that being a mommy after a Mommy Makeover, which usually includes a tummy tuck, liposuction, and breast enhancement procedures, is not only possible but often better. In fact, most patients say they wish they had done it sooner. Feeling good about your appearance often translates into feeling more confident in general, which creates an overall positive attitude. Doing something for yourself is actually an extremely important and valuable way to care for your family. A happy, confident mother is better able to raise happy, confident children.
It’s important, though, to be patient during the recovery following the procedure. Incisions take time to heal and we recommend scheduling CO2 laser skin resurfacing after the surgery to diminish the appearance of scars. The CO2 laser is considered the gold standard for minimizing scarring and a package of 3 treatments typically produces excellent results.
Along with the physical recovery, you may also have questions about how to discuss your surgery with children—especially for moms with daughters.
Taking Care of Your Children During Recovery
Rest, rest, rest. My patients hear me repeat this advice like a mantra. That’s not only because it’s true, but moms often tend to think of themselves as superwomen and have an urge to push themselves before they’re completely healed. The best way to take care of children during the first few weeks of recovery is to arrange for others to take care of them for you.
Keeping tabs on toddlers or having a grade-schooler nestle on your lap is off the table. Your spouse or partner will need to take care of bath time. Getting used to having someone else take care of these responsibilities can be stressful for many mothers (even if you sometimes wished for such help before) and it is a good idea to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for letting yourself off the hook as a mom.
Top 3 Mommy Makeover Recovery Tips
Supporting Children Emotionally
Patients often ask about the physical aspects of recovery from plastic surgery, but it’s important to expect an emotional component, too. This is particularly true of Mommy Makeover patients, especially when children want to know why Mommy can’t meet their needs right this moment. When you’re exhausted, uncomfortable, and perhaps feeling the effects of pain medication, you can expect some mood swings and may not feel like the World’s Greatest Mom.
Being prepared for this will help you communicate with your children and remain calm, even during teary-eyed moments. Knowing that the recovery process, despite being challenging at times, is temporary and that the emotional recovery is as real as incisions healing. This may be a good time to re-visit the Mommy Makeover before-and-after photos showing how truly transformational the procedure can be.
Talking With Your Children About the Procedure
As with any discussion you have with your children, communicating in an age-appropriate way is always important. Few, if any, details are necessary for younger children between the ages of 5 and 9. Something as simple as “Mommy isn’t sick but she needs rest because she had a special operation that’s she’s happy about” is usually enough information.
The conversation may change, however, especially with pre-teen or teenaged daughters. Most moms try to raise their daughters to have self-confidence and be body-positive. Having a Mommy Makeover doesn’t have to undermine that message. You may want to say that every woman has the right to restore her body after childbearing (or make other physical changes as she sees fit). You can also reinforce the idea that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of others. There are many positive ways to have this conversation.
Don’t expect a single conversation with older children to be the last word on the topic. They’re likely to have additional questions about how you’re feeling during the recovery and about the changes to your body. Answering these questions helps reassure children that everything is fine.
As a body contouring and Mommy Makeover expert, I’ve discussed these issues with countless patients and look forward to answering any questions you might have about the combination of procedures that make up a Mommy Makeover. You can contact our plastic surgery practice in Los Angeles by using the online form to request a consultation or by calling us at (310) 300-1779 to schedule an appointment.