Bloomfield Hills, MI – After the first few weeks of enjoying a new baby are over and routine starts to set in, many mothers wonder when they can visit a Michigan plastic surgeon to help get their bodies in pre-baby shape. But just how long should you wait after giving birth to have a tummy tuck?
“You should never have a tummy tuck right after giving birth,” says Dr. Ali. “Some women may think it makes sense to have the procedure while they’re still in the hospital, or even right after a c-section, but that isn’t the case. Your body needs time to bounce back before having an abdominoplasty procedure.”
There are several reasons for this.
- Hormones can affect the elasticity of skin, and the post-partum body will be full of higher levels of hormones.
- There is an increased risk of bleeding, including from the uterus, in a post-partum woman.
- To have the most success, a woman should be at or around her ideal weight, and right after a baby is born, that most likely won’t be the case.
- Tummy tucks require a recovery period where it will be difficult to lift anything, especially a newborn.
- Women who are breastfeeding still have high levels of hormones in their bodies, and anesthesia and other medication can be transferred through a mother’s milk to her newborn.
So when is the best time to have a tummy tuck?
“I always advise my patients to wait at least six months after their baby is born, longer if they are breastfeeding,” says Dr. Ali. “By this time, the influx of hormones will have started to recede, the weight will be closer to normal and the stretching of the abdomen will have recovered.”
These are important for several reasons. Waiting at least six months following the birth will allow for the stitches to hold better in the tissue because the tissue will no longer be softened to accommodate the baby.
For lasting results from a tummy tuck, it’s important to be at or near your ideal weight before having the procedure. A tummy tuck isn’t a weight loss procedure – while some fat and tissue will be removed, it’s primary goal is to tighten loose skin and give the abdomen a smoother, flatter appearance. It should never be used as a substitute for proper diet and exercise.
Following pregnancy, it’s important to remember that your body may not go back to looking exactly as it did prior to the pregnancy. But it’s also important to remember that just because your body looks a certain way in the days and weeks immediately following birth doesn’t mean it will always look that way.
“After giving birth, the skin will be stretched, the uterus will still be swollen, and you’ll be carrying extra weight that you didn’t have before,” says Dr. Ali. “And in the months following birth, these will all begin to go away. It’s hard to make aesthetic judgments based on what we think the body would look like, so I advise patients to wait.”
The body needs time to recover from all of the changes pregnancy brought. It’s also important that women be not anticipate further pregnancies prior to a tummy tuck. Becoming pregnant after a tummy tuck can alter the results, and most women will want to have the procedure redone after giving birth.
If you have questions about when is the best time to seek out a tummy tuck, or are interested in regaining your pre-pregnancy body, call Dr. Ali today to learn more about how abdominoplasty can help you.
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