Motherhood takes its toll on mind, body, and spirit, but it’s a wonderful journey. Many moms struggle with redefining their new role as a mom while maintaining their identity–part of this is because we’ve given so much already physically that we need to “feel” like ourselves again.
Many women are now opting for the mommy makeover — a procedure designed to resculpt and reshape the body, removing elements of pregnancy that stay a little too long for our liking. Depending on your unique needs, your makeover procedures may include:
- Breast augmentation
- Breast lift or reduction
- Tummy tuck
- Circumferential abdominoplasty
This is a big decision, moms, and should not be taken lightly. You’ll likely need recovery time, support, and childcare while this process is taking place. Here are some things to keep in mind as you ponder your decision:
1. You might feel a little guilty
Moms are used to putting themselves first, and as such, it can be hard to justify all of the time and money needed to make the mommy makeover happen. Consider this….if it was your precious child asking you if they should improve themselves to look and feel better, what would you tell them? If you have better health and improved self-confidence, won’t you be able to give back a little more efficiently? It is normal to feel guilty about a decision like this, but you must put yourself first to be a better mom and family member.
2. You’ll need to tell your kids
If your kids are old enough to understand the basics of surgery, you can tell them a bit about improving yourself. Try your best not to communicate your hang-ups about your body image and how this is because you feel “bad” about yourself—-merely tell them that you are getting your tummy fixed, and afterward, you’ll have more energy to play with and care for them.
3. You’ll be on pain meds
Whether you like it or not, you’ll have to have some sort of pain management strategy in place so you don’t go crazy as you’re trying to run a household (who are we kidding, you’re still going to try to assume your role during this time). If you are not comfortable with the “good stuff”, stay on top of the pain with alternating ibuprofen and Tylenol every four hours, and you’ll soon feel like a new and improved version of yourself.
4. You might be alarmed by your breasts
The first time you look down, you might think, “My God, what have I done?” Rest assured, objects this close appear larger than they are. You are swollen from surgery, and you’ll need to give it time for the swelling to go down and for the implants to fall where they may. Over the course of the next few weeks, you’ll need to massage the implants to get them to soften up (your partner will LOVE this part of recovery), and over time you’ll see the “you” that you’ve always dreamed of being when you look in the mirror.
5. You’ll have some itches that you can’t scratch
After a tummy tuck, the area that was worked over will be numb. You might find yourself with urges to scratch, and find that that tissue is no longer there. This is referred to as “phantom syndrome”, where the body retains the memory of lost tissue. No worries, this will subside over time.
6. You will have to sit
For the first few days after surgery, you will have no choice but to sit, rest, and recover. Life will happen around you, and things will get done. They might not happen the way that you want them to, but they will get done. Letting go of some of that control and allowing others to take care of business will be tremendously freeing. Let it happen.
7. You will be emotional
With any surgery, and with the addition of pain meds, you are likely to be out of control at times when it comes to emotions. Observe this process, try not to take your wide mood swings out on anyone, and know that this, too, shall pass. Talk to your doctor if you think you are experiencing extreme side effects from meds, and if possible, talk to your doctor about processing these difficult emotions more organically.
8. Get active, and stay active
If you are in good shape before surgery, chances are that your recovery time will be quicker as well. Surgery will not be a substitute for the need to stay in good physical condition–if you want to look good post-surgery, you’ll have to put in the work. Do what you can to prepare physically for your surgical event, and who knows? Your recovery period might be enjoyable!
9. Do your research
You’ll want to know a little bit more about the process you’ll be going through before surgery—do your research! Find out what risks are associated with surgery, what you are likely to experience before, during and after, and what results you can expect to see when all is finished. The more you know, the more you can advocate for yourself and get the treatment that you truly need.
10. Avoid Negative Nellies
There will be people who just don’t understand your need to prioritize yourself, and that is fine. You let them have their opinions, you don’t need to surround yourself with that kind of negativity as you heal. You know your reasons for doing this; refuse to let others get you down for your decision to be your best self.
Let’s get started!
Now that you know what kind of path lay before you, it’s time to make the decision that makes you feel your best. Schedule your appointment, get started on the path to health and wellness, and look forward to being able to “mom” on a whole new level.