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woman walks on the beach with her child; should you finish having kids before getting a mommy makeover?

Summary: Much has been made about the relationship between the Mommy Makeover and bouncing back after pregnancy. But is a Mommy Makeover the same as bouncing back, really? There are plenty of differences to mull over, and many reasons why these two responses to pregnancy are difficult to compare.

How is Mommy Makeover the Same as Bouncing Back?

There’s been some talk about the relationships between a Mommy Makeover and bouncing back after a pregnancy. Indeed, these days there is a significant amount of pressure on women to regain their shape after having children. This is exacerbated by every celebrity story about this star or that who is already in “bikini shape” just weeks after having a baby.

For most people, that kind of “bounce back” is neither feasible nor healthy. Your body needs time to recover from child birth, itself a rather traumatic experience (I fundamentally believe we don’t talk about that enough in this country—giving birth is incredibly dangerous from a medical perspective).

Bouncing back in the same way that celebrities do often requires a strict diet and an Olympian fitness regime. Both are usually unrealistic for new mothers. But a Mommy Makeover is not quite the same as bouncing back.

How Do Celebrities Bounce Back so Quickly?

When celebrities and movie stars have babies, the “bounce back story” is usually not too far behind. Often, these stories appear in a specific type of magazine or online column. It’s not uncommon. In the story, the celebrity will talk about how hard she worked—how she hired a personal trainer and maybe even a dietician.

The subtext of the story is always the same: if I can do this, you can too. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really jive with reality. Most people who give birth are lucky to get time off of work for basic healing and recovery. And the vast majority of new mothers simply cannot afford a full time personal trainer or dietician.

That isn’t to say you shouldn’t eat a healthy diet or get some daily exercise in. But in the first days of motherhood, you might have other priorities. And that’s okay! This “bounce back” pressure is both unfair and unrealistic. And that’s probably not news to anyone who actually, you know, feels that pressure.

How is Mommy Makeover Different?

In some ways, Mommy Makeovers and these after-baby bounce backs are thematically linked. There is, for mothers especially, a certain amount of pressure to look slim and youthful no matter what life may throw at them. It’s not for everyone.

But for some mothers, that desire comes at least partially from within. For moms who want to look more youthful again, Mommy Makeovers can provide a realistic and valuable tool. There are simply some ways that the body changes that cannot be repaired through diet or exercise:

  • Pregnancy, child birth, and motherhood can all conspire to create a significant amount of excess skin around the tummy area
  • In combination with natural factors such as aging, pregnancy and nursing can change the size, shape, and orientation of the breasts
  • Pregnancy and motherhood can also change the way your body processes fat; this leaves many mothers with stubborn areas of fat that don’t respond to lifestyle choices

For many mothers who are thinking about a Mommy Makeover, the purpose of the procedure is not necessarily to “look pretty” again—or anything quite that undeveloped. Rather, most patients express a desire to return their bodies to a youthful state that they feel motherhood may have taken prematurely.

In other words, it’s about enjoying a youthfulness—reclaiming it even.

Women and Plastic Surgery

That’s not to say there aren’t legitimate concerns about the role of plastic surgery in perpetuating certain body ideals. But those concerns likely play out differently on a large, social scale than on a smaller, individual scale. After all, sometimes all a patient wants is to feel comfortable in her own body again—and that’s a reasonable request.

For patients who want that comfort—that self-confidence—a Mommy Makeover may be among the best ways to achieve that. That said, no one should feel compelled to “bounce back” or to undergo a Mommy Makeover that they don’t want.

Getting the Look You Want from Your Surgeon

Sometimes this simply comes down to explaining what you want from your surgeon. There are many female plastic surgeons out there who are going to be quite sensitive to what patients are really looking for from a Mommy Makeover. Sometimes that’s the best way to go.

Whatever you want, it’s important that you articulate your goals and feel free to achieve them. For many, a Mommy Makeover will make that possible—you’ll be able to feel a little more youthful and confident. For many mothers, that’s not a “bounce back”—that’s just a good feeling. Is a Mommy Makeover the same as Bouncing Back? Not really. Although, I guess, ultimately that’s up to the woman in question.

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