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Summary: During pregnancy, one of the last things a woman thinks of is how her body will change as a result of her growing baby. However, the body is undoubtedly impacted by pregnancy, and the stomach often bears the biggest brunt of these changes.

How pregnancy affects the abdominal area will vary depending upon a woman’s anatomy, her skin laxity and how many pregnancies she’s had. Many women find that pregnancy has left them with loose, hanging abdominal skin or a protruding tummy, which can be the source of frustration or embarrassment. A tummy tuck can rejuvenate the abdomen after pregnancy for an improved overall appearance. Although each woman has her own set of circumstances that leads her to get an abdominoplasty, here are five common reasons to consider a post-pregnancy tummy tuck.

1. You Can’t Improve Your Stomach Appearance with Diet and Exercise

You can do abdominal crunches until you’re blue in the face. You can count calories until the cows come home. You can pursue diet fads, belly boot camp or exercise until your heart’s content, but the only thing that can restore your stomach to its former glory is a tummy tuck.

If you’ve dropped all of your pregnancy pounds and lead a healthy, active lifestyle, but nothing you do can improve your abdominal appearance, a tummy tuck may be the solution for you. During pregnancy, the skin around the stomach stretches to accommodate the growing baby, and it doesn’t always shrink back to your pre-baby shape. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, removes loose, excess skin and localized deposits of fat around the abdomen to improve stomach contours for a flatter, more toned midsection.

2. You Have a Permanent Paunch

You may have given birth months or years ago, but you still look like you’ve got a bun in the oven. In fact, well-intentioned friends or strangers may occasionally congratulate you on what they believe is your impending bundle of joy. This post-pregnancy paunch is a tell-tale sign of diastasis recti, which occurs when the parallel abdominal muscles separate and cause the stomach to protrude.

During a tummy tuck, a plastic surgeon can repair and reinforce abdominal muscles for a strong, taut abdomen.

3. Your Stomach Makes You Feel Self-Conscious

You’ve thrown out your bikini and tossed aside your form-fitting clothes. You get dressed in the dark, far away from any mirrors. If sagging abdominal skin or a paunch make you want to hide away from the world, or at least leave you feeling embarrassed, it may be time to consider a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck has the power to transform you physically as well as emotionally, restoring confidence and offering a well-deserved boost to your self-image.

4. You’ve Completed Your Family

Perhaps you’ve been through the miracle of life once or twice. Regardless of how many times you’ve been pregnant, if you don’t plan on having any more children and you’d like to improve your abdominal appearance with a tummy tuck, it’s high time you scheduled a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options.

5. You Can Do It as Part of a Mommy Makeover

Although it can be an excellent stand-alone procedure, a tummy tuck is also included in a mommy makeover. A mommy makeover is a combination of plastic surgery procedures that are performed together to rejuvenate the figure after pregnancy. Breast augmentation and tummy tuck are often part of a mommy makeover, along with liposuction. The procedures beautifully compliment one another, bringing the body back to its pre-pregnancy shape.

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