Pregnancy and childbirth are no easy feat. Carrying a human being takes its toll—physically and emotionally.
New moms can be especially overwhelmed. A recent letter, “Dear New Mama: It’s OK To Feel Overwhelmed,” from Huffington Post, talks about the love, fear, duty, anxiety and expectations a new mom experiences after giving birth.
Having a baby changes your life and your body. Each woman experiences pregnancy and childbirth differently, but most women agree it changes your body in some way, shape or form. The combination of growing a baby in your body, along with the intensity of childbirth, can affect your breasts, abdomen, and vagina, not to mention your self-esteem. Some women feel confident and love their new body and what it represents, while others feel less satisfied.
Either way you feel, you’re right. Self-image is a sensitive and subjective topic. It’s how you feel about your body—that is the most important part. No one can tell you how to feel.
“Our culture puts women in a hard bind. During pregnancy, we’re encouraged to show off the belly bump, and yet within weeks of having the baby, we’re supposed to look like it never happened,” Alexis Conason, New York City psychologist and a research associate at Mount Sinai-St. Luke’s Hospital, told the Washington Post.
You’ve probably heard the term “Mommy Makeover” (or Mummy Makeover in the U.K)—it’s become a household name. With a Mommy Makeover, a new mom can choose any one or more of a variety of treatments after she gives birth, to get her “pre-baby body” back. Some entail surgery, while others are non-invasive procedures. Most popular, are the treatments given by plastic surgeons or OB/GYNs; liposuction, breast augmentation, labiaplasty, tummy tuck, vaginal rejuvenation, etc.
What To Know Before You Have A Mommy Makeover:
1. YOU define what Mommy Makeover means to you
Most people think of a cosmetic procedure when they hear the term, “Mommy Makeover.” But it doesn’t necessarily have the same connotation for everyone; you define what it means to you. It could be buying new clothes, forming a new habit like weekly friend dates or weekly ‘me time’, or a joining a new exercise class.
“I hate the term mommy makeover. It’s reconstructive. Women want to look restored and just get things back to where they were. They want to feel confident,” Dr. Melissa Doft, clinical assistant professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, told Harper’s BAZAAR.
2. Do your research
If you decide to have a treatment or procedure, find out how much it costs, check reviews on RealSelf, (a world-wide review site with 10 million monthly visitors), and ask a friend or family member who has received the same treatment. But most importantly, consult with your practitioner about the process, the proof of results, and if it is right for you. Most surgeries will require you to wait at least 6 months after childbirth.
3. Know the side effects and maintenance
Some procedures, like liposuction or tummy tucks, are more invasive and require a significant recovery time before you see your full results.
“Typically, what we see is swelling for a week or two, bruising for a week or two, and then close to the final results six to twelve weeks out,” Dr. Lyos, triple board-certified plastic surgeon, told an ABC news station in Texas.
Other treatments, like CoolSculpting or vaginal rejuvenation are nonsurgical, and require no recovery time, but take a few months before you see the full impact.
“Geneveve [treatment] works at a cellular level to stimulate your own body to rebuild and restore collagen within the vaginal tissue – without surgery, without pain and without down time…” Dr. Sabika Karim of Revere Clinics in London told Harper’s BAZAAR. “Results typically peak at around 90 days and will still be evident in excess of 12 months.”
Also, there can be ongoing maintenance after procedures, or lifestyle changes that you may have to make for the treatment to be successful long-term.
“In order to maintain the stunning results of the liposuction well into the future you will need to eat well and exercise,” wrote top plastic and hand surgeon, Dr. Randy Wong of Honolulu Plastic Surgery, on his blog. “Keeping to a good diet and regular exercise schedule ensures that you keep the new look and added self-confidence.”
4. Do it for the right reasons
Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s what you want. Don’t do it for anyone else. No one can tell you how to feel. Decide what makes you feel beautiful, and feel your best. Ultimately, it is your decision if you want a Mommy Makeover or not, it’s your choice; either way you feel, you’re right.
Confidence comes from how you feel. It is more than how you look, and how you get there is a personal decision. Take pride in the fact that you have already accomplished something incredible: you brought a baby into this world! You are amazing.