If you are considering tummy tuck cosmetic surgery but are not done having children, you may wonder if you can have it now or if you should wait. At NuBody Concepts Cosmetic Surgery in Nashville and Memphis, our experienced board-certified plastic surgeons answer a wide range of questions like this to help patients choose the right body contouring option.
The short answer is: Yes, you can have children after a tummy tuck. But here is why you still should consider the right timing of your tummy tuck. Let’s start by looking at what a tummy tuck does to your body.
How a Tummy Tuck Works
A tummy tuck – the medical term is abdominoplasty – is one of the most effective cosmetic surgeries you can get. It is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from your abdomen to help it become flat. If necessary, your abdominal muscles are also repaired. Tummy tucks are especially popular among women who have gone through childbirth and would like to regain their pre-pregnancy body.
A Tummy Tuck is Used to:
- remove belly fat
- remove excess skin
- relocate and/or improve the shape of the belly button
- repair torn abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) if necessary
There are other ways to get your body back to its pre-pregnancy shape, like dieting. exercise, or liposuction. But neither of these will achieve a completely flat stomach as easily as a tummy tuck. And with today’s advanced surgery and anesthesia methods, a tummy tuck has become a relatively easy outpatient procedure. Your plastic surgeon typically performs it under IV Sedation which can be adjusted to your personal preference, the scar can be well-hidden just below your bikini line, and the recovery is measured in days, not weeks.
Reasons for a Tummy Tuck
As we already mentioned, gaining back your pre-pregnancy body is one reason to consider a tummy tuck. Not only can pregnancy leave a woman with extra pockets of fat and flabby skin, it can also tear your abdominal muscles.
The reason the muscle might be damaged is typically a previous pregnancy. As a baby grows inside the uterus, the skin of a woman’s abdomen is stretched to accommodate the growing belly. Your six-pack is connected with tissue that stretches as the uterus expands, and your pregnancy hormones can contribute to softening it further. A small amount of widening between the two halves is normal during pregnancy. But in some women, the abdominal muscles spread so far apart that they stay apart post-partum and create a paunch that is impossible to eliminate with dieting alone. In fact, this happens quite often – for about one third of pregnant women.
Whether you will be affected by this condition called diastasis recti is hard to predict. You may or may not be genetically predisposed, or you might have weaker or stronger abdominal muscles. If you are among the women who are predisposed and would like to return to your pre-pregnancy body, a tummy tuck is a great option for you.
Should I Have a Tummy Tuck Before or After Having Children?
If you have determined that a tummy tuck is for you, it is important to consider when you should have it – if you are a woman. Men do not have to grapple with this issue, but if you’re a woman still able or willing to become pregnant, timing is important.
Why? Let’s look at the first obvious question:
Will a Tummy Tuck Affect a Future Pregnancy?
No, it won’t. There is no medical reason for avoiding pregnancy after a tummy tuck. Having a tummy tuck does not prohibit a future pregnancy or pregnancies in any way, shape, or form. The growth and well-being of your baby will not be affected by a previous tummy tuck. Your baby will grow just as well in your post-tummy tuck body as it would otherwise.
This means that you if you are planning to have children, you don’t have to wait to have a tummy tuck from a medical standpoint. However, if you know that you are going to have more children, we recommend that you wait with tummy tuck surgery. That’s because a pregnancy might do to your body exactly what brought you in for your tummy tuck in the first place. We want our patients to be happy with their outcomes, and this includes their long-term outcomes.
Which leads us to the second question:
Can a Surgeon “Baby Proof” a Tummy Tuck?
Unfortunately the answer is no. No plastic surgeon can guarantee that a tummy tuck will “survive” a pregnancy unblemished. Your skin might stretch beyond the point of no return, or your abdominal muscle might split. If you’ve already had this happen during a previous pregnancy, there is a good chance it will happen again. But just because it has not happened before doesn’t mean it won’t the next time. Basically, there is no good way to predict what a future pregnancy will do to your body. Why invest in a tummy tuck too early, when you may have to have another one after the next child is born?
That is why we recommend that you wait with a tummy tuck until you’re reasonably sure that you’ve had your last child. A tummy tuck is a serious financial investment. And not just financial – there is a fairly time-intensive recovery to consider. It makes sense to think hard about undergoing this more than once.
However, there might be situations where you just don’t know. Let’s say you had your first child or children fairly young and have since separated from your spouse and are newly single. In that case you might not know if you’ll want more children in the future, but you also don’t want to rule it out. In such a situation, having a tummy tuck to make you feel good about your body is entirely reasonable. And even if you do end up having more children, you can be sure that your baby will be safe no matter what!
A Mommy Makeover After Having Children
After we’ve had our children and gone through breastfeeding with the last, all we really want is having our bodies to ourselves again. This is the time when many women consider not only a tummy tuck but also breast surgery. In an added twist of irony, what we’ve gained in volume around our abdomen is often missing from our breasts, as if our body mass has simply sagged downwards. It’s not unreasonable at all to want it all back in its original place.
A Mommy Makeover is the ideal cosmetic procedure to do just that. Your surgeon will perform a tummy tuck to give you that flat stomach you might remember from your high school days. And he or she will also augment your breasts either with breast implants or a breast lift.
We hope we’ve helped you learn more about the topic of having children after a tummy tuck surgery. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us, or schedule a personal consultation today by clicking the pink button!