Despite leading a fitness boot camp class for recent moms, the Baltimore Sun reports that Kate Blakenship still felt that she couldn’t get her own body back into shape following childbirth. In fact, she underwent several procedures to restore shape to her breasts and remove the excess skin from her tummy area. The result was that she “no longer had to bring her tummy in to show off my abs.” It’s a similar story for many new moms. Pregnancy and childbirth are not kind to the body - the skin needs to stretch to accommodate the baby, the mother needs to consume more calories to help provide for her child, and exercise becomes more difficult. As a result, there is a tendency to gain a little more weight than is strictly necessary, and this is often compounded by the lack of real exercise. Once the child has been born, natural nursing can take its toll on the breasts, leaving them a little saggy and noticeably smaller. Like tummy skin that droops, there’s not a whole lot that can be done about this without going under the knife. For this reason, more and more women are opting for a combination surgery package known as the ‘Mommy Makeover’. Options include surgery on the breasts, tummy, love handles, and a procedure known as vaginal rejuvenation, which can help women whose muscles may have become stretched through childbirth. Of course, different women will be affected in different ways. Interviewed for the piece, one Dr. Larry H. Lickstein says that genetics will invariably mean that for some women, although the skin will return to its pre-pregnancy state (more or less) and exercise will help remove the fat that has built up (particularly on the love handles), the end result is far from what many women are comfortable with. The first point is the hardest – exercise – and a post-pregnancy (and post nursing) regime is important. You do need to do the hard work that restores your body’s core fitness level; surgery will enhance the result, but it starts with your diet and exercise regime. For many women this will mean that they even go back to looking better than they did in their teens. The effort truly does pay off. It’s also important to take the exercise and build up a proper diet before the surgery takes place. For a start, after the surgery, strenuous exercise will be out of the question. And besides, to get the best results, the body needs to be in relatively good shape. Only then can the surgeon begin to work his magic. The mommy makeover usually starts with the breasts and a tummy tuck. These are the two most affected areas, and the most visible. A breast lift, plus enlargement through the insertion of implants, is quite usual, although this will depend on the individual. Removal of any remaining excess skin or “pouch” of fat in the belly is next, leaving a flatter stomach. In some cases, women also need liposuction to remove excess fat from the hips or other areas, where a combination of a good diet and exercise haven’t quite removed the fatty deposits that have built up during pregnancy. Other procedures can be discussed at the same time, taking advantage of the fact that if you're having work done, you may as well have as much done as possible at the same time, especially since it will be under general anesthetic. Your surgeon, Dr. Vitenas, will run through all the options and expected recovery times, which vary by procedure and by client, as well as brief you on post-operative care. This last is important for breast procedures in particular, and you need to be prepared to stick with the exercises long-term if you want your new body image to last! To learn more about any aspect of cosmetic and plastic surgery including breast lift procedures, liposuction and tummy tucks, contact Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery of Houston, Texas.