Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by Dr. J. Kevin Duplechain, MD.
When Can I Pick Up My Kids After Breast Augmentation? Plus, 3 Other Questions Moms Have About Cosmetic Surgery Answered by a Cosmetic Surgeon
No mom on Earth needs to change a thing about their body to be beautiful. That said, as a cosmetic surgeon, husband, and dad, I understand that sometimes a change is exactly what a mom wants for herself, to help her feel more beautiful and confident.
Breast enhancement, tummy tuck, and other “mommy makeover” procedures are popular
options to address common post-pregnancy issues such as sagging skin, abdominal muscle separation, and loss of breast volume—but the most rewarding result of these procedures is how they can improve a patient’s self-confidence and comfort.
Today, I’d like to answer some common questions from my patients who are also moms. I hope these give you a realistic idea of what to expect and help you see that, with a little planning, it is possible to make the changes you desire with minimal disruption to your family’s lives.
How long will I need to take off of work after a tummy tuck?
Most patients with office jobs return 2 to 3 weeks after a tummy tuck, when post-operative discomfort has subsided. At this point, they regain their energy and usually are able to drive. Physical work, including heavier-duty childcare (e.g., lifting, carrying, playground play), requires more downtime—4 to 6 weeks for most patients. Everyone’s healing process is a little different, so it’s important to get the green light from your cosmetic surgeon before resuming any activity.
The good news is that this is probably the longest recovery you can expect. If you choose a single procedure instead of combining procedures in a mommy makeover, you may not require as much downtime.
Tips: Combining procedures saves time in the long run because you’ll have only one recovery period—even if it means taking a few more days off initially. If you can arrange it, easing back into your job by initially working from home may allow you to take less time off. Whatever plan you make, share it with your cosmetic surgeon and follow their instructions.
When can I pick up my kids after breast augmentation? And tummy tuck?
After any surgery, you’ll have to go at least 2 weeks without lifting anything more than 10 pounds or so. There’s just no way around this one. Heavy lifting too soon after surgery risks straining or even opening your incisions, which could lead to bleeding, infection, and poor scarring. The more extensive the procedure, the more time you’ll need: after breast augmentation, we’re looking at about 2 weeks; after a tummy tuck, about 4 to 6 weeks.
During this period, you will need childcare help. Plan for around-the-clock assistance for the first 3-4 days (longer if you have an infant or toddler), and then at intervals for tasks that require lifting or straining such as bathing your kids.
Driving is a no-go until you are off meds—and likely longer if you have to lift kids into car seats or have a vehicle such as an SUV that requires you hoist yourself up into the driver’s seat, so plan for carpool help.
Tip: Consider booking your procedure while your kids are away at camp, or sending them to grandma’s house to cover childcare and give you some valuable peace and quiet during your earliest days of recovery.
How do I tell my kids I had surgery?
You may not wish to tell younger kids you had a cosmetic procedure specifically, only that you had an operation to feel better. Older kids will notice something has changed, so it is probably better to tell the truth.
You might explain that you asked the doctor to help you with your skin or the shape of your body. Keep it simple and be clear that this is something you chose for yourself—i.e. never say “Daddy wanted” or “Grandma said.” Avoid statements like “I didn’t look good before” or connecting it directly with carrying them through pregnancy as this can raise a lot of questions and insecurities in their minds.
While it can be hard to fully express the reasons in the short term, ultimately, your improved self-confidence will send a very positive message to your kids.
Tip: Consider talking to a pediatrician or a licensed child psychologist for advice on how to broach the topic of your cosmetic surgery in a way your children can understand. They may even help you rehearse!
Can I have more kids after a tummy tuck?
Yes, pregnancy after a tummy tuck is safe for you and baby—but you may not like the aesthetic effects. Your abdominal muscles and skin will stretch again to accommodate the growing fetus, and may not magically bounce back just because you had a tummy tuck before.
I typically advise patients who would like to have more kids to wait before undergoing “lifting procedures” such as a tummy tuck or breast lift.
Tip: Breast augmentation and Botox are popular “in-between” procedures that can address breast volume loss and help you look better refreshed, respectively, without being dramatically altered by future pregnancies.
I hope this has been helpful! If you have more questions about cosmetic surgery, I invite you to call my office in Lafayette at (337) 221-8095 for more information or to request a consultation.
About Dr. J. Kevin Duplechain
Dr. Kevin Duplechain is a cosmetic surgeon and diplomate of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery based in Lafayette. With a reputation for exceptional care and stunning results, Dr. Duplechain has over 25 years of experience helping patients from all walks of life feel more comfortable and confident through expertly performed cosmetic surgery and minimally invasive treatments.