As women have increasingly deferred childbirth to focus on their careers and personal lives, it’s not uncommon for them to consider a tummy tuck procedure to achieve a smoother, more toned appearance, especially after significant weight changes.
Although it’s certainly fine to have a tummy tuck before pregnancy, a subsequent pregnancy may produce skin and muscle stretching that may require a second tummy tuck for correction. So if you’re planning on children, these are issues to consider. Here is what you need to know about having kids after a tummy tuck.
What Is A Tummy Tuck?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the stomach area, as well as tightens muscle, to create a firmer, smoother, and more toned appearance. Tummy tucks are among the top five most common cosmetic procedures among patients.
How Pregnancy Affects the Stomach
On average, women gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. During this weight gain, the stomach muscles and skin stretch to accommodate the growth of the baby within the uterus. After the baby is born, you will likely have loose skin and stretched stomach muscles for several months before your stomach muscles tighten. However, even after the muscles have tightened, this may not match their pre-pregnancy state, and you will likely still have loose skin due to the stretching caused by pregnancy.
How Pregnancy Affects a Tummy Tuck
While a tummy tuck will not have any effect on your fertility, pregnancy will have varying effects on the appearance of excess skin and loose muscles that can counteract the results of your tummy tuck. Following pregnancy, you may need to have the procedure again to restore your pre-pregnancy appearance.
Alternatives to Tummy Tucks
If you’re planning to have children and wish to defer a tummy tuck until that’s completed, there are still other options available to remove unwanted fatty deposits, tone your stomach muscles, and improve the appearance of your midsection.
Liposuction is a minimally-invasive procedure that removes fat cells from beneath the skin’s surface. This treatment smooths out stubborn bulges and improves the appearance of areas that don’t respond to diet and exercise.
CoolSculpting® involves applying cold to stubborn areas of the abdomen that works to eliminate unwanted fat cells within one to three months of treatment. The result is a reduction of fat in the abdomen by as much as 25%.
Body Contouring Garments
For a short-term, temporary solution, waist-training garments that apply compression to the skin and tissues of the stomach can provide a more toned appearance.
Diet and Exercise
While it may not provide the same dramatic results as surgery, proper diet, and exercise help tone abdominal muscles and improve overall health without surgical procedures.
Tummy Tucks and Pregnancy
While it is possible to have a tummy tuck before pregnancy (or have children after a tummy tuck), doing so may result in the need for another tummy tuck in order to reach the pre-pregnancy condition. You may wish to consider these alternatives to a tummy tuck until after you’ve had children and have no further plans for pregnancy.
Dr. Sanders will explore options and alternatives with you if you’re not yet finished building your family, but wish to tone and shape your abdomen. Reach out to schedule a consultation, or use our online virtual consultation tool to find out more.