is a beautiful thing. But after surviving pregnancy, childbirth,
midnight feedings and those terrible twos ó not to mention the
stresses that come with work, hubby and home ó it can be difficult
for some moms to capture the confidence they carried long before they
were called "Mom."
Even for those
mothers who manage to keep their diet in check or sneak in a workout
from time to time, the lasting effects of pregnancy, such as stretch
marks, extra skin or those less-than-perky breasts, can be enough to
make any woman feel insecure.
And while some
moms are happy to bare their battle scars (we say embrace those
stretch marks!), itís good to know there are options for those who
are seeking a little extra help in getting their sexy back.
"A lot of
women feel that after the baby and all the changes that happen to
their bodies, that they donít feel like themselves ó no matter how
hard they exercise and diet," explains Dr. Mark F. Blake, a
board- certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the Clinic of
Cosmetic Surgery, just south of Bayshore Town Center.
body-conscious society, cosmetic surgery enhancements have lost much
of their taboo. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
reports that more than 11 million procedures were performed in 2013,
and at least 90 percent of those were done on women.
procedures are safer and more affordable than ever before, so itís
no surprise that more women are lining up for nip-and-tuck procedures.
Yet, unlike the plastic surgery extremes seen on the West Coast or in
South Beach Miami, for example, Blake says Midwest mommies typically
opt for subtle enhancements like breast augmentation, breast lifts,
tummy tucks and liposuction.
Of course there
are exceptions and a lot more options for surgery, too: full or
partial body lifts, fat injections and other advanced slimming
say, ĎI donít want to look too extreme; I donít want to look
like Barbie,í" Blake says. "Theyíre not trying to turn
heads when they walk into a room."
Loewenstein, a board-certified plastic surgeon at Greater Milwaukee
Plastic Surgeons in Brookfield, suggests women in post-pregnancy
should wait at least six months after delivery before considering
plastic surgery. This is usually the time that it takes for moms to
return to full mobility and regular activities, as well as a stable
shouldnít commence until after a woman has decided not to have more
children ó especially following a tummy tuck, since ultimately a
subsequent pregnancy would "undo" surgery results, says
Loewenstein. Other procedures, like breast augmentation, may hinder
the ability to breastfeed in the future.
Some of the
biggest concerns voiced by mothers include the time required for
recovery and how that downtime will affect their families. Loewenstein
says that while everyone is different, there are some common threads.
for desk jobs, most women can return to work after seven to 10 days
for a breast augmentation, two weeks for a tummy tuck, and three to
seven days after liposuction depending on which area is done and how
many areas," Loewenstein explains. "Laser treatments may
require a few days to two weeks, depending on the type of laser
And since these
procedures are technically invasive (itís still surgery, after all),
Blake says itís important for moms to understand that there will be
moderate pain, scarring and an indeterminate recovery period. Mothers
of young children should expect to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous
housework for up to six weeks, he says.
searching for less invasive procedures, injectables such as Botox or
fillers and other skin treatments like microdermabrasion, which work
to fill or reduce fine lines and wrinkles, are a viable option.
strongly advise patients to do their research ó on both the doctors
and the practice where surgery is to be performed, as well as into
their treatments of choice. They say it is also important to be
realistic. Stretched, saggy skin resulting from pregnancy canít be
"lipo-ed away," and surgery canít substitute for a healthy