Mommy Makeovers: What You Never Knew About Them
Procedures are up, but some experts are pushing back: 'Since when are looks more important than parenting?'
Celebs have it easy. After giving birth, many famous moms turn to cosmetic procedures to get their post-pregnancy bodies back in shape in a hurry.
But these days, it’s not just the Hollywood elite who are going under the knife.
Motherhood may be a source of joy and fulfillment for many women, but the pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding that come along with it can be downright unkind to their once shapely bodies.
That's why more and more women are treating themselves and their physiques to a "mommy makeover," which depending on the mom can mean a tummy tuck, liposuction, breast augmentation, or other procedure aimed at restoring an uncooperative figure to pre-motherhood form. In fact, data recently released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows breast augmentations are up 4 percent and liposuction up 6 percent from last year.
"Many mothers feel guilty even considering doing the littlest things for themselves."
"I think getting the breast augmentation was probably the best thing I ever did as an adult to treat myself," a Virginia mom of two told LifeZette. "It was just surreal. It was everything I had ever dreamed that I would look like."
While most moms want to get their pre-pregnancy bodies back, however, some say vanity shouldn’t trump parenting.
"Since when are looks more important than parenting? The only — and I stress only — thing I'm willing to do is dye my hair. I'm so not a Botox or plastic surgery kind of gal. I'm happy to age gracefully at my age," a New Jersey mom of two told LifeZette. "What message does this desire for perfection send to our kids?"
The message, says Dr. Michael Burgdort, a board-certified plastic surgeon and author of The Mommy Makeover: Restoring Your Body After Childbirth," is one that a mom values herself.
"I see many mothers who feel guilty even considering doing the littlest things for themselves, let alone plastic surgery," he says. "It seems to stem from the inherent nature of moms to think of everyone else first and always put themselves last."
Burgdorf shared more of his thoughts in an interview with LifeZette.
Question: Does considering plastic surgery mean a mom is more concerned about vanity than her kids?
Answer: Let me ask you: If all the logistics of childcare and household duties were met, all your questions answered and all your concerns addressed, will you then give yourself permission to have plastic surgery? Do you feel you're worth it? Only you can answer this question.
But I say, if you are a mom who has sacrificed to carry a baby and has gone through the delivery process, you have more than earned it. And, as we all know, a mom’s sacrifice doesn’t just end with the delivery — it continues through the life of her child.
Q: What is the decision-making process like?
A: When a mom visits me in my office for the first time, we spend time talking about how she feels about her body right now. One thing I've learned over my years in practice is that no two women will have the same desires or concerns. It's all a very, very personal and individual decision. I like to help my patients dream a little about where they see themselves after surgery — what they would like their results to be.
"I want patients to know the difference between their desires and what's appropriate and possible."
Q: Is a mom who is happier about her looks happier as a parent?
A: I have seen so many families blossom from having a mother who is happy and confident in herself. This surgery not only affects the individual woman but, like anything a mom does, can profoundly affect her entire family, too. That is one of the main reasons I chose to specialize in plastic surgery and mommy-makeover surgeries in particular. What’s exciting for me is that the impact seems to extend like a ripple in the water.
I help make changes on the outside of an individual. Then I can be a witness to the countless changes that occur on the inside of that same person. The effects on people within that person's sphere can be profound. With mommy makeovers, that ripple effect can permeate through an entire family.
Q: What factors should a mom take into consideration before undergoing plastic surgery?
A: Having dreamed the dream and seen the vision, there are now other questions to be worked through. Plastic surgery is a big decision, one you should not enter into flippantly. I work closely with my patients to help them distinguish the difference between their desires and what's appropriate and possible, to understand the benefits and some potential challenges that are in store for them.
Are you ready mentally and emotionally for this change in your life? How do you feel about plastic surgery in general? Can and will you give yourself permission to actually have plastic surgery? Is the timing right? Do you plan to have more children? Is it safe? Can combination procedures be performed on you? And how will you pay for it?
These are all critical questions to ask — and answer — beforehand.