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Douglas A. Taranow, DO, FACOS

Is It Possible to Have a Tummy Tuck Immediately After Giving Birth?

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Posted August 31, 2018 in Tummy Tuck

Few women can fit into their pre-pregnancy jeans right after giving birth. Women gain weight and accumulate stubborn fat deposits throughout pregnancy for various reasons, none of which are entirely predictable. It takes a while to “bounce back” due to having localized body fat, stretched out folds of excess skin, and an expanded uterus that results in a temporarily inflated abdomen. The uterus takes about six weeks to contract and shrink back down to its normal size after childbirth.

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Many celebrities like Beyoncé have shown off their amazingly svelte post-baby bodies just days after giving birth, which may make you wonder if they had a tummy tuck surgery the same day they delivered. There are other things that celebrities may do to achieve a slim and sculpted appearance right after having a baby (such as shapewear, strategic styles of clothing, and rigorous exercise), but it is common for them to go the surgical route to restore their physique. While tummy tuck surgery can be performed immediately following childbirth, it is not recommended by most surgeons.

Why It Is Not Recommended

A woman’s abdominal tissues are very soft after giving birth because they spent 40 weeks expanding and carrying extra weight. They eventually shrink and become firmer after delivery, but this can take six months or longer. Undergoing two major procedures, such as a cesarean section (C-section) and tummy tuck surgery, at the same time also increases the risk of potential complications. Furthermore, because tummy tuck surgery is one of the most invasive cosmetic procedures, it requires a lengthy recovery period. A woman who opts for this surgery immediately after having a baby will need someone around during recovery to take care of her as well as meet the high demands of her newborn baby. Someone like Beyoncé could probably hire a whole team of assistants to manage the household and provide childcare, but this is not a possibility for most people.

Preparing for Your Tummy Tuck Surgery

For the rest of the female population, waiting six months or longer after childbirth can make the experience safer and more manageable. Here are some suggestions to consider when looking forward to your tummy tuck surgery:

  • Finish Breastfeeding: You should be done breastfeeding before scheduling your tummy tuck surgery because any pain medications you take after surgery can be passed to your infant through your milk. Most prescription pain medications used during recovery from major surgery are harmful to babies.
  • Wait Until You Are Done Having Children: Pregnancy has a tremendous impact on the appearance of the abdomen. Becoming pregnant after having a tummy tuck will definitely alter your results, so it is best to be sure you are finished having children before considering the surgery.
  • Maintain a Balanced Diet: You will naturally lose weight over time after pregnancy. If you are breastfeeding, you should not restrict your calories as if you are on a diet. Consume the number of calories that your doctor recommends, and be sure to eat healthy foods. The nutrients in these foods will provide your body with the energy it needs and will make the process of losing weight after childbirth much easier.
  • Start a Steady Exercise Regimen: If you can, implement an exercise routine that fits in with your new lifestyle. Exercise will help boost your mood, increase your energy, and eventually help you fit into those pre­-pregnancy jeans again. Sticking to a daily workout will also help you maintain your tummy tuck results, so committing to a routine before your procedure can motivate you to continue exercising after you have healed. Additionally, all body contouring procedures generate the best results when the patient is close to their ideal body weight.

Enjoy Early Motherhood

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It is perfectly normal to worry about how your body will look after pregnancy. The journey to motherhood can be a life-altering rollercoaster ride of emotions and physical changes, but it can also be a rewarding experience. If you are considering tummy tuck surgery or any other cosmetic treatment, take the time between childbirth and your scheduled procedure to enjoy early motherhood. As your body adjusts and you start to feel more like your pre-pregnancy self again, you will be spending priceless time nurturing and playing with your little one. Before you know it, you will be able to treat yourself and restore your figure with the tummy tuck you deserve.

For more information about tummy tuck surgery, or to schedule your body contouring consultation with Dr. Douglas A. Taranow, please call 212.772.2100.