Recovery after any major surgery can be a challenge. If you’re the mother of young children and you’re trying to recover from your Mommy Makeover surgery, that’s a challenge of a whole different variety. Caring for yourself is hard to do as a mother, so when it’s mandated by a physician, most moms just don’t know how to manage it. While it would be easy just to drop the kids off at a relative’s house until you’re up and about, that’s not a practical solution for most moms. If you’re looking ahead at a similar scenario, here’s what to expect and how to prepare yourself for it.
What to Expect from a Mommy Makeover
The surgery labeled “Mommy Makeover” is really more of an umbrella term for many different surgeries, all of which combine to help mothers reclaim their bodies after childbirth and breastfeeding. When you have a consultation to plan your own Mommy Makeover, the procedures included will be tailored to your specific needs. You won’t just order surgeries from a menu; you’ll be part of the discussion and help your plastic surgeon decide which procedures will work together the best to create the look you want. Some of the procedures typical to a Mommy Makeover include breast enhancements, usually a breast lift and/or breast augmentation; liposuction to remove excess fat from various locations; and a tummy tuck to tighten the skin and muscles of the abdomen. Other procedures for the rest of the body and even the face may be added to your surgery
Your Recovery from a Mommy Makeover
Of course, the specifics of your recovery and the duration of time you will need to spend resting will all depend on the nature (and the amount) of procedures included in your Mommy Makeover package. If you had a breast surgery, you will likely be fitted with a surgical bra that must be worn throughout your recovery. If you had a tummy tuck, you will be instructed to wear an abdominal binder to help control any swelling as well as support the new contours of your waist. Additional compression garments will often be required to be worn where liposuction was performed. Clearly, you may walk out of your surgery with a full wardrobe of compression and binding garments to keep all your new shapes in the right places.
In some cases, drains may be placed at the incision sites of your various surgeries, especially a tummy tuck, to help collect any excess fluids. Your body will probably be swollen and bruised near the sites of your surgeries, so you’ll likely be able to ease some of the discomfort with cold compresses and ice packs. Because of the swelling, you may not notice the difference your procedure has made to your new body at first. As the swelling and redness subside, your new figure will emerge and you’ll fall in love with your firmer and more youthful-looking body.
Full recovery from a Mommy Makeover usually takes about six weeks, but may change slightly based on the procedures included in your package. Most patients return to work in one to two weeks, but remember to follow your doctor’s specific orders. Mommy Makeovers are a highly specialized type of surgery, so it’s important to discuss such details directly to avoid complications or injury.
Managing Your Kids during Mommy Makeover Recovery
Six weeks is a long time in the life of a mother with children living at home, no matter what their ages are. If you’re having your surgery at a fairly young age, you may be dealing with small children who won’t understand why mommy doesn’t want to play. If your children are older, you might have it a little easier. Not much, but maybe just enough. Here are some tips for managing motherhood and recovery from your Mommy Makeover:
- If you have elementary school-age children and above, try to explain your recovery process to them. Some kids enjoy the chance to help mom; you might get a nursemaid out of it!
- Commission your partner, your family and close friends to help you in shifts. If you know you have help coming, you can leave activities you shouldn’t do for someone else to take care of.
- Keep your kids in school and/or day care. If your children ride the bus, great. Let them keep riding the bus. If you need to drive them in, make arrangements for a temporary car pool. Stay out of the car and stay on the couch.
- Make arrangements for someone to watch your children, outside of the home if possible, for the first 48 hours. This is a critical time for recovery and you can’t risk overdoing it to care for your children. Complications, injuries, bleeding, and other trauma can occur if you don’t rest when you’re told.
- Before your surgery, make sure you take care of all major housework, wash and fold the laundry, make sandwiches for school lunches, and stock the house with all the groceries, vitamins, and other medications you need. No running errands when you should be recovering.
- Discuss the specifics of your recovery with your doctor and plan for it, whether it’s cold compresses and bandages or mandatory bed rest.
The Recovery Area for Moms
Before undergoing most major surgeries, you’ll be instructed to create a recovery area dedicated to rest and relaxation. This seems in direct opposition to what it is to be a mother, but you’ll have to find a space for this nonetheless. If you have babies or small children at home during the day and no one else to help you, make some modifications to this space and include a safe area for your child to play. Your recovery area should be on a bed or a couch and well-stocked with bottles of water, snacks, books or magazines, loose-fitting clothes that button in the front, and cozy pillows and blankets. To create the Mommy Recovery Area, choose a bed or couch in a room that is mostly child proof. Using child safety gates, block off the exits or anything else that might be dangerous for them. Fill this space with a few of your child’s favorite toys, bring a DVD or two of their favorite movies, and have some snacks on hand that they enjoy. Invite them to become a part of mommy’s rest and relaxation time. Being given access to you during this time can help your child not to feel ignored or rejected, meaning they are more likely to stay calm and keep close by.
Where to Get Your Mommy Makeover
When you’re prepared to change your life with a brand new post-baby body, contact the offices of Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists to make your consultation appointment with Dr. Rubinstein. A board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Ran Rubinstein at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, located at 200 Stony Brook Court #2 in Newburgh, New York. Their clinic is the only specialty plastic surgery practice in the Hudson Valley area with an on-site joint commission certified surgical suite. Patients of this top-notch practice also benefit from their Vectra 3D imaging technology, which allows three dimensional images of the patient to be altered before surgery for a preview of their results. Book your appointment today by calling (845) 863-1772.