Having a baby can be one of the most beautiful experiences a woman can go through. Yet, the journey through pregnancy and childbirth can put a woman’s body through a lot of physical turmoil. The end result leads some new mommies to desire a body that makes them feel more confident. Enter the era of the “Mommy Makeover,” a transformative trend gaining momentum across the globe.

The rise of mommy makeovers shows many women are embracing autonomy and sculpting their post-pregnancy bodies to aligns with their vision of beauty. We spoke with Dr. Peter Lee, leading board-certified plastic, reconstructive, and cosmetic surgeon, about the rise of mommy makeovers and what they are.

What Even is a Mommy Makeover?

21N: Can you explain what exactly a mommy makeover is?

Dr. Lee: A “mommy makeover” is typically a body contouring procedure. It is designed to correct some of the anatomic changes from the hormonal and body composition shifts that occur with pregnancy.

21N: What is the typical recovery time for a mommy makeover?

Dr. Lee: The recovery time for a mommy makeover depends on the procedures done during the mommy makeover. Two weeks is a good rule of thumb for the most common mommy makeover. The combination includes an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), mastopexy (breast lift) and liposuction (lipo). But we [board-certified plastic surgeons] review postoperative (post operation) care and recovery time in fine detail. For example, we can decide the timeframe for post operative care in a patients preoperative (pre operation) consultation for a mommy makeover.

21N: What have some of your patients told you about the reasoning behind their mommy makeovers? Do they feel different after the procedure? 

Dr. Lee: Every patient approaches the decision to have aesthetic surgery differently. For some patients, a mommy makeover presents an opportunity to “reclaim” the physique of their youth. For others, it is a chance to address issues that predate their pregnancies.

21N: What are some prerequisites for a good candidate of a mommy makeover?

Dr. Lee: When we prepare a patient as a candidate for a procedure we perform a thorough preoperative evaluation. An important question we ask is, “are you sure that you do not want to have any more children?”

A mommy makeover is a set of body shaping and contouring procedures. Contrary to thought that it is a technique for helping a patient loose the weight she gained during her pregnancy. In general, the more a patient can achieve her target weight prior to the procedure, the better the result that can be achieved.

21N: What are some misconceptions about the procedure that you can debunk?

Dr. Lee: A mommy makeover is often as much a psychological reset as a physical one. Often patients researching a mommy makeover focus on abdominoplasty, mastopexy and liposuction. Yet, in many circumstances, we encourage our patients to think more broadly. 

Perhaps it is an opportunity to tighten the neck and achieve a more defined jawline. Maybe it is time to remove some excess skin along the inner thighs or upper arms. Or the big picture might represent a moment of introspection. Maybe you can implement that diet and exercise regimen you have never quite gotten around to. The point is that you get to decide what a mommy makeover is for you. And we will help you achieve it.

Please note that quotes have been edited for clarity and conciseness in the article.