Having a baby can be the most fulfilling experience in a woman’s life.
However, no one talks about all the crazy changes that happen after you give birth. When your skin, tissue, and abdominal muscles expand to make room for the growing baby. It can be challenging to accept your new and gorgeous figure in a culture where body image is fundamental.
In recent years, a procedure called a "mommy makeover" has attracted a lot of attention. But what is it?
Motherhood has historically been associated with unpleasant bodily details, such as messy postpartum bleeding, difficulty and occasionally even pain in choosing the best breastfeeding method, wound care for the vagina and cervix, or C-section incisions.
In the same way that menstruation and menopause are considered impolite fodder for mixed companies, many women are unaware or under-informed about the topic.
Luckily, modern mothers have a better understanding of their bodies following childbirth, a shift some attribute to a changing motherhood climate. In some ways, also, the care available to women has improved.
Dr Kajal Lutch, Durban’s leading female plastic surgeon, talks to IOL Lifestyle about deconstructing the stigma of cosmetic surgery, body positivity, and advocating for the importance of self-esteem.
She explains the term “mommy makeover” as any mix of surgical and non-surgical procedures that treat the alterations that your body experiences after giving birth.
Depending on the situation, it typically involves a mix of liposuction, a mini or full stomach tuck, labiaplasty with or without vaginal rejuvenation, and breast treatments such as a lift, reduction, or augmentation. A holistic, comprehensive treatment plan can be provided by using skin tightening techniques with radiofrequency micro-needling devices for even greater results.
The procedures in a “mommy makeover” are completely personalized to each patient because they address the regions that don't react well to exercise, hence “mommy makeovers” are so well-liked!
According to Lutch, “body positivity is so important and when people are doing things for themselves and for the right reasons, whether going to the gym or having a surgical procedure, it can have a great impact on mental well-being and quality of life. When you look good, you feel good, and who doesn’t want that in a mama? “
Even while food and exercise might help you shed additional pounds after childbirth, your skin and tissue might not heal completely. Additionally, breastfeeding alters the breasts in ways that exercise is unable to reverse.
Obviously, there is a lot of concern about whether the recent surge in cosmetic surgery has contributed to the fluctuating beauty standards but most concerning of all body dysmorphia in women.
Lutch said: “The stigma around cosmetic and body rejuvenation procedures is increasingly lifting as more women take steps to feel good about themselves and their postpartum bodies. This can do wonders for the mental health of new mamas.
“Moreover, trends are largely dictated by the media. If anything, I believe that cosmetic surgery is largely guided by this and we see it with the rise and fall of the skinny waif-like figures being desirable, to the curvy bbl and now it's all about symmetry and definition, looking healthy and feminine but strong.”
“I think it’s so important to still put one's self-care and confidence first, despite being a mom. Moms can move toward taking back control and being proud, healthy, and confident mamas.
“Body positivity is so important and when people are doing things for themselves and for the right reasons, whether going to the gym or having a surgical procedure, it can have a great impact on mental well-being and quality of life, she said.
She noted that people used to assume cosmetic surgery was only for certain types of people such as celebrities and very rich people, but now all types of people who believe they also have a right to look and feel good are seeking it.
“Although complications can happen to the best surgeons, catastrophic complications and poor outcomes are strongly associated with a lack of skill. Make sure you do your homework and that the surgeon performing your procedure is a fully qualified plastic and reconstructive surgeon.
“If a price is unreasonably low and if it's too good to be true, it often is,” Lutch warned.
She said that the first step was to love yourself and have a good attitude toward life.
“Any cosmetic surgery can be damaging to healing and general contentment if it is performed for the wrong reasons or when the patient is not in a healthy mental state.
“Start by listing all the qualities you value most about yourself. Plastic surgery is seldom the first line of defence in a problem. To feel like a million bucks even before having any body sculpting surgery, a healthy balanced diet, exercise, meditation, and great connections with loved ones that garner a strong support system are essential!”