Typically, the question most women ask us is this: When is the best time for a tummy tuck? And to this, we typically answer with “After you’re done having children.” However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot become pregnant and have children after a tummy tuck. It just means that it isn’t the ideal sequence of things.
To better understand this, let us look at what a tummy tuck does to your body.
What Does a Tummy Tuck Do?
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.
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.
Why Should I get 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 result of these torn muscles can be a slight bulge of your tummy that is impossible to eliminate with dieting alone.
Another reason for having a tummy tuck may be that you’ve recently lost a lot of weight and now have extra folds of skin that has nowhere to go. The skin also loses its elasticity the older we get, so that a tummy tuck may make sense in middle age, regardless of whether you’ve had children. Whenever you feel that despite leading a healthy lifestyle with regular dieting and exercise your tummy refuses to go absolutely flat, you might consider a tummy tuck.
The Effect of Pregnancy on your Tummy
To get back to the original question, the answer is yes. Yes, you can have children after having had a tummy tuck. There is nothing done to your body during tummy tuck surgery that in any way prohibits or imperils a future pregnancy. Your baby will grow just as well in your post-tummy tuck body as it would otherwise.
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. As your baby grows, the skin of your abdomen is stretched to accommodate the growing belly. But in addition it can also spread your abdominal muscles – yes, your six-pack! – apart. This condition is called diastasic recti. 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 if the gap becomes too large, you can be left with a paunch after you’ve given birth.
You Might Need Several Tummy Tucks
About a third of pregnancies result in diastasis recti. Whether you will be affected by it or not might depend on genetics, and also how your previous pregnancies have gone, or whether you’re expecting twins or have poor abdominal muscles to begin with. But there is really no good way to predict what a future pregnancy will do to your body. So 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. 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 as you start dating again is entirely reasonable. And even if you do end up having more children, your tummy tuck might not be affected at all. Just know that if it is, you may need to have it redone after your second round of children. No plastic surgeon can “baby-proof” your tummy tuck to guarantee you won’t need one in the future.
Go For the Mommy Makeover
There is a reason it’s called a Mommy Makeover. 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, perhaps helped with a little bit of liposuction, to give you that flat stomach you might remember from your high school days. And he or she will also augment your breasts by either placing implants, performing a breast lift, or using fat gained from liposuction around your midsection to increase the volume of your breasts. Some patients even like to receive a vaginal rejuvenation treatment to strengthen the vaginal wall, which also weakens during childbirth.
There are many ways to customize a Mommy Makeover. Typically, breast surgery is a little easier to recover from than a tummy tuck, so adding on a breast augmentation if you’re already having an abdominoplasty makes perfect sense.
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 with a board-certified plastic surgeon in the Nashville or Memphis area.