What are mommy makeovers?

I haven’t been able to help but notice that there is a trend developing. The “mommy makeover” started in the US and seems to have made its way all over the world, although I can’t help but feel that “makeover” is slightly too mild a word for a series of surgical procedures. Now, I wasn’t sure what I thought about this trend, so I wanted to do a bit of research into what it is, why people have it and who exactly does have it before I decided. Hopefully you’ll find reading about it just as eye-opening as I did!

As I said, the trend is already big in the States, and is getting increasingly popular. Figures released in 2011 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) show that women had almost 112,000 tummy tucks in 2010 – an increase of 85 per cent since 2000. They had 90,000 breast lifts (up 70 per cent since 2000) and 296,000 breast augmentations (up 39 per cent).

A survey by the ASPS also revealed that 62 per cent of mums said that they would consider a “mommy makeover” if cost were not an issue. The makeover includes procedures such as a breast augmentation with implants and/or a breast lift and a tummy tuck to help women in their bid to reclaim their pre-baby bodies.

So, aside from breast lifts, implants and tummy tucks, what else is involved in a “mommy makeover”? According to Dr Bryan W Gawley, liposuction can also be included in this transforming package. He explains: “Pregnancy and nursing can leave stubborn deposits of fat in your thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen, arms, and even neck and face.” Liposuction may be needed because these fat deposits are quite often unresponsive to diet or exercise, he says.

I wondered who the women having these procedures are and found it interesting that, according to Texas-based cosmetic surgeon Dr Jennifer L. Walden, the women seeking “mommy makeover” cosmetic surgery are younger than those undergoing the treatments a decade ago. Apparently, it used to be mostly women in their 50s getting these procedures, but nowadays more mothers in their late 20s, 30s, and early 40s are choosing them.

Here comes the big question: why are increasing numbers of women choosing to have “mummy makeovers”? Dr Gawley believes that while having children may bring a woman “joy beyond imagining”, loss of her pre-baby body may cause a woman serious emotional turmoil. She may feel “a loss of self-confidence and decreased feelings of sensual appeal”, he said.

A “mommy makeover” can “restore your body to its most alluring appearance while increasing things as diverse as self-confidence and clothing options”, Dr Gawley suggests.

This does sound understandable; you’ve had your baby, you just sort of assumed all your pre-baby clothes will magically fit you, and look just as good as they did pre-baby, so when they don’t, of course you’re going to be disappointed.

Can’t magic knickers come to the rescue, you may ask? If no one can tell your boobs are floppy or that you’ve got a saggy belly when you’re all covered up, what does it matter? Apparently it does matter; in fact Dr Walden believes it matters very much. Women aren’t going under the surgeon’s knife to look good for their husbands, partners or friends, she says – they are doing it to look and feel good about themselves. I suppose this means being able to take off all that control underwear and feel comfortable with what you are!

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