How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Mommy Makeover?

A mommy makeover is a surgery that helps mothers regain their pre-pregnancy body. This surgery can include a breast lift, tummy tuck, liposuction or any combination of these and other aesthetic procedures. Most women report excellent results after their surgery. Depending on the procedures that are performed, most women report feeling back to their old selves in approximately four weeks.

As one of the top board-certified plastic surgeons in Fayetteville, NC, and a mother, Dr. Saira H. Saini understands how difficult it can be to recover after a mommy makeover.

Dr. Saini believes patients need a sound support system during their recovery; this could be a partner, family member, or friend who can help with the household tasks and take care of the children. You gave yourself the gift of a new figure; now give yourself the same gift of time to recover. This blog post will discuss the different aspects of the recovery process and offer tips to help you through it! If you have any questions, call Carolina Plastic Surgery of Fayetteville, NC, at (910) 323-1234 or fill out this form and we’ll be in touch.

Keep up with our blog to learn more about procedures, recovery tips, and the latest in cosmetic advances in North Carolina.

Before and After Photos

More About Mommy Makeovers

Many women experience volume loss in their breasts, sagging skin, and stubborn fat after having one or more children. Pregnancy can also lead to weak or separated abdominal muscles. Losing weight after giving birth becomes increasingly difficult after each child. A mommy makeover is a term used to describe surgery that addresses these concerns

Recovering from one procedure is challenging enough, but multiple procedures can make the recovery process even more difficult. We are here to help you through your recovery with these helpful tips, expected timelines, and more! And remember, Dr. Saini and her staff are by your side every step of the way.

You’ve got this, mommy!

A Mother of a Recovery

Most women report that the first few days after surgery are the most critical to a smooth recovery.  We are here to help educate you and answer any questions you have during your first few weeks of recovery.  All you post surgery appointments are with Dr Saini.  We do not believe in delegating those critical post surgery appointments. At our office, you meet with Dr Saini, your plastic surgeon for every appointment and so you have the best care possible.  Getting up and moving around as soon as possible after your surgery is important to prevent blood clots, but you should not overdo it. Dr Saini will personally design your post surgery recovery protocol.

You should have someone stay with you to help you maneuver getting out of bed and getting around for the first day or two after surgery. Additionally, you will need help with your children. Consider the help you will need with your child(ren)s schedules including: 

  • School or daycare pick-up and drop off
  • Activities
  • Entertainment
  • Meals
  • Overnight care

Arranging for help well in advance of your surgery date will help make this a seamless transition while you are recovering.

Can I Pick Up My Child?

One of the most common questions is, “When can I pick up my child?” The answer to this question is often hard to hear, but it’s important that the patient doesn’t put stress or strain on the incision sites. Therefore, we recommend that you wait 6 weeks after breast surgery and around 6 weeks after a tummy tuck to pick up and carry your child. Make up for the inability to carry your child by inviting them to snuggle with you in bed or on the couch. 

When you are cleared by Dr. Saini to lift your children, take care to squat down and lift with your legs for extra protection.

When Can I Exercise?

We understand that you want to get back to your routine as soon as possible, but you must first take it easy

  • If you had a breast augmentation, you should wait at least four weeks before starting any exercise other than light walking.
  • If you had a tummy tuck, we recommend waiting six to eight weeks before starting an exercise routine.
  • And if you had liposuction, we recommend waiting two to four weeks before exercising.

It is essential to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. You will be able to return to your regular exercise routine eventually, but it is crucial to take the time to recover properly.  Dr Saini will see you on a weekly basis following surgery and will customize your recovery based on your healing.

The Road to Recovery

The first few weeks after your surgery will be challenging, but taking care of yourself is important. Get plenty of rest, eat a healthy diet, and take any pain medication Dr. Saini prescribes.  At each visit, Dr Saini will review your medications and customize your post operative medications to optimize your recovery.

Before your surgery, you may have created a recovery “hub” in your home, where you will spend most of your time recovering. For most patients, it is their bedroom. Have you done this? If not, have a friend or family member help you create a comfortable and relaxing recovery space. Here are some tips to help you create a healing environment:

  • Choose a room with plenty of natural light. Sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D, which is essential for healing. [1]
  • Bring in some plants and flowers. Flowers not only look and smell nice, but plants also help purify the air.
  • Make sure the room has a comfortable bed or recliner chair and plenty of pillows. .Rest and good 
  • Make sure the space is large enough to move around comfortably and that there is a place to sleep, relax, and take care of your hygiene.
  • Stock the room with everything you need for recovery, including comfortable clothing, pillows, books, magazines, and other items that will help keep you feeling good.
  • Create a list of people who can help you, including family members, friends, and caregivers. Program their numbers into your “Favorites.”

It is a good idea to call and chat with friends to keep your spirits up. Recovering from surgery can be an emotional roller-coaster so having someone you trust with whom you can express your feelings is essential.

The Self-Care Hump

Self-care can be challenging for some women. You are used to taking care of everyone else, and now you have to focus on taking care of yourself. It is important to remember that recovery is a process, and it is okay to ask for help. Here are some essential tips for taking care of yourself during recovery:

  • Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush toxins from your body and keeps your skin hydrated.
  • Eat healthy foods. Healthy foods provide the nutrients your body needs to heal.
  • Rest when you can. Your body needs time to heal, so get plenty of rest.
  • Take walks. Walking helps increase circulation and speeds up the healing process. Plus, the fresh air helps keep your spirits up.
  • Avoid strenuous activity. Strenuous activity can delay healing and cause pain.
  • Start slowly. Recovery takes time, so start with short walks and gradually increase your activity level as you feel better.

I Feel Bad

We’re not talking about your body; this time, we’re talking about the “G” word. So many of us feel guilty for not doing the most every day. This recovery will require you to do very little, if anything, for an extended period. And while you may experience some discomfort with this idea, try and enjoy this time. Indulge in not having to cook, clean or chase after your active children and pets. Don’t worry; all those tasks will be waiting for you when you’ve recovered, so rest up and try to indulge your senses in this well-deserved break.

Pain Management

During the early recovery period, you will likely experience some discomfort. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help you manage your pain. Here are some other ways to manage your pain:

  • Ice: Applying ice to your incisions (never directly) can help reduce pain and swelling. [2]
  • Elevation: Keeping your head and shoulders elevated can help reduce swelling.
  • Compression: Wearing the compression garment Dr. Saini provides can help reduce swelling.
  • Sleep: Getting plenty of rest can help your body heal.

What are the Benefits of Rest?

While you’ll undoubtedly want to binge your favorite shows while you heal, natural, recuperative rest is a deeper level of sleep that helps your body recover from surgery; this means: 

  • No screens in the bedroom (that includes your phone!) when it is time to rest
  • Disconnecting from work and social media
  • Getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night

Consider taking a short nap during the day, too. When your body is at rest, it’s able to heal better. [3]

Did you know that your body releases hormones promoting healing and cell growth when you sleep? [4] These are the same hormones released when you exercise, only during sleep, they are released in higher concentrations. So, aim to get a good night’s sleep before and after your surgery if you can.

Incision Care

Your surgical team will give you specific instructions on how to care for your incisions. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully to ensure proper healing.

You will likely have drains to help remove excess fluid from your body. Be sure to empty your drains according to Dr. Saini’s instructions.

You will also need to keep your incisions clean and dry. Be sure to shower according to Dr. Saini’s instructions.

When Should I Call Dr. Saini?

If ever there is a question about the state of your health during recovery, give us a call. Here are some events that warrant a call right away:

  • Fever
  • Increasing pain
  • Redness, swelling, or discharge from your incisions
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath

These are just a few things to remember as you recover from your mommy makeover. Recovery takes time, so be patient and listen to your body. If you have any questions or concerns, call our office.

Looking to the Future

Now that you know what to expect, you can focus on enjoying your new body! Congratulations on taking this step to improve your appearance and your self-confidence. A mommy makeover is a life-changing event, and we are so excited for you! We hope this blog has been helpful. Please feel free to share it with anyone you know who may be considering a mommy makeover. As always, we are here to answer any of your questions. So give us a call today! Call Carolina Plastic Surgery of Fayetteville, NC, at (910) 323-1234 or fill out this form to schedule a consultation.

References

  1. Latham CM, Brightwell CR, Keeble AR, et al. Vitamin D Promotes Skeletal Muscle Regeneration and Mitochondrial Health. Published 2021. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2021.660498/full
  2. Ravindhran B, Rajan S, Balachandran G, Mohan LN. Do Ice Packs Reduce Postoperative Midline Incision Pain, NSAID or Narcotic Use? World Journal of Surgery. 2019;43(11):2651-2657. doi:10.1007/s00268-019-05129-1
  3. Adam K, Oswald I. Sleep helps healing. British Medical Journal (Clinical research ed). 1984;289(6456):1400-1401. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1443671/?page=1
  4. Kim TW, Jeong JH, Hong SC. The Impact of Sleep and Circadian Disturbance on Hormones and Metabolism. International Journal of Endocrinology. 2015;2015:1-9. doi:10.1155/2015/591729
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