Anyone who is thinking about cosmetic surgery or has already undergone a surgical procedure knows that timing is everything. You need to think about planning and timing your surgery around your work schedule, family commitments and responsibilities, or possibly even big events, like a wedding.
When it comes to timing your surgery around pregnancy, there’s possibly even more to consider. Pregnancy can really transform your body. The abdominal muscles can get stretched and even torn during childbirth, skin can get super stretched out leaving loose skin where it used to be tight and firm, and breasts can deflate and sag, not to mention the weight gain that often happens with pregnancy and the difficulty to shed those pounds afterwards.
Having a baby is definitely not easy on the body, so it’s pretty common for women to seek out cosmetic surgery in order to help get their bodies back to the way they used to be. Some women may also seek out a surgical procedure prior to becoming pregnant.
So the question is do you need to time your surgery around pregnancy? Absolutely. Here are some things to consider.
Breast Surgeries, Pregnancy & Nursing
We get a lot of questions about how to time a breast surgery around pregnancy. Generally if you plan on getting pregnant, it’s usually best to wait until you’re done having children to have a breast surgery. Breasts undergo major changes from pregnancy and nursing, and many of the breast procedures that we perform such as a breast lift or breast augmentation, address these changes.
The reason we recommend waiting is because we can’t guarantee that your surgical result will remain the same after pregnancy. Ideally, you want to avoid the need for a possible breast revision surgery in the future.
That being said, some women may be really unhappy with their breasts or have a breast deformity at a young age and may be years away from thinking about getting pregnant. We totally get that. When it comes to a surgery like a breast augmentation and breast implants, this is for sure a procedure that you can have before getting pregnant. You can rest assured that this surgery will not affect your fertility, pregnancy or ability to nurse.
Again, there is always the possibility that you may desire a revision following pregnancy and nursing, but everyone is different, and this is not always the case.
When it comes to surgeries like a breast reduction or a breast lift, we recommend waiting until after you are done having children if possible. This is to avoid the possibility of having to undergo a revision surgery, but also to minimize any risk of complications with nursing in the future.
If you’re pregnant or have had your baby recently, and you’re eager to get a breast procedure, we recommend waiting at least six months after you’ve finished nursing before scheduling a surgery in order to allow your breasts to return to their pre-pregnancy state, and to ensure best results.
Sometimes Waiting is Best
There are some surgeries where it really is best just to wait until you’re done having children. Surgeries like a tummy tuck or a mommy makeover, which is a combination procedure that typically involves a breast lift or breast augmentation, a tummy tuck and liposuction, are best to time after you’ve had your last baby.
A tummy tuck in particular is a pretty extensive surgery that requires quite a bit of recovery time, and again addresses all those transformations that occur after pregnancy and childbirth. A tummy tuck involves removing excess or sagging skin, as well as tightening and repairing the muscles of the abdominal wall that can often tear during childbirth, also known as rectus diastasis.
It’s an amazing procedure for getting that tummy tight and flat again after pregnancy. To see and to maintain the best results possible, it’s best to choose this surgery when you don’t plan to become pregnant again.
If you’re planning on having your procedure after having kids, no matter what the surgery is, you need to take recovery time into consideration. This means taking anywhere from 1-2 weeks off of taking care of your children. You can be around them, but you can’t be taking care of them and running around after them on your own, and for some surgeries, you won’t be able to lift them.
Your surgeon will give you completely customized recommendations depending on the extent and kind of your surgery, but you need to factor in potentially having child care for the entire 1-2 first weeks of your recovery. These weeks are key to a full and speedy recovery and to ensuring that you have the best final result possible.
Surgery and Weight
As much as losing weight following pregnancy is not always the easiest thing to do, you want to be at or near to your goal weight (within 10-20 lbs), no matter what surgery you plan to undergo. There are a number of reasons for this.
There’s a misconception that cosmetic surgical procedures like liposuction or a tummy tuck are primarily weight loss tools, but this is actually not the case. These are body contouring procedures—they’re surgeries that will help with things like excess or sagging skin or stubborn pockets of fat, and they’ll help to sculpt and contour your body overall after having lost weight.
You also don’t want to have major weight fluctuations following your surgery. Both dramatic weight gain and weight loss can significantly alter your final result.
And last but certainly not least, safety and your overall health come first. When you’re near to your goal weight you’re better positioned for surgery in general, and any surgical risks are significantly reduced.