After having children, many moms are ready to regain their pre-pregnancy bodies by scheduling a tummy tuck at our Baton Rouge surgery center. For many women who exercise regularly and watch what they eat, the abdominal skin stretched by pregnancy won’t go away without surgery. It can be difficult to be patient, which is why women who have recently had a baby often want to know how long they have to wait until getting a tummy tuck.
There are a few different factors to consider when answering that question, but it’s a good idea to understand the tummy tuck procedure itself, especially for patients who have young children at home.
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a procedure that can be done for anyone who has excess stomach skin after weight loss. For women who have had children, however, it may also include repairing abdominal muscles that separate during pregnancy. This condition, called diastasis recti, creates the “belly pooch” that some women have after pregnancy. I also perform liposuction during a tummy tuck to remove excess fat and create smooth, aesthetically pleasing contours. You can see the results for yourself in our photo gallery of tummy tuck before-and-after photos.
So, how long after having a baby should a woman wait to have a tummy tuck? In general, I recommend waiting at least 3 months post-labor before undergoing abdominoplasty. Your body needs time to fully heal after giving birth. Other factors to consider include:
- Are you breastfeeding? If so, you will need to wait until a few months after you stop before getting a tummy tuck because your body continues to change after you stop producing breast milk.
- You should be at or near your target weight. A tummy tuck isn’t weight-loss surgery. If you plan to lose additional weight, you should do that before the surgery. Losing significant weight after a tummy tuck may leave you with unwanted skin.
- You’re finished having children. Getting pregnant after a tummy tuck is possible, but the results of the surgery likely will be compromised and may require revision surgery.
Tummy tuck patients with young children at home need to arrange for child care during the recovery, especially during the first 10 days to 2 weeks. That’s because patients need to avoid lifting anything—including small children—to ensure proper healing. Even though some patients can return to their normal activities after about 2 weeks, it will be several more weeks before they should resume strenuous activities.
Each person is different, and the timing of your surgery is a highly personal choice. If you’re considering a tummy tuck, I recommend scheduling a one-on-one consultation to discuss your goals and specific situation.