What to Expect After a Mommy Makeover: Your Guide to Recovery

Childbearing and the natural aging process can bring profound changes to a woman’s body. If you’re exploring ways to rejuvenate your look, you’ve probably encountered the mommy makeover–a customized set of plastic surgery procedures designed to address the concerns many women have after children.

A mommy makeover can address changes in the abdominal area, breasts, and overall body contour. Typically, it includes a combination of procedures like a tummy tuck, breast augmentation or lift, and liposuction, each playing a crucial role in restoring a more youthful and refreshed appearance.

By undergoing multiple procedures at once, you can experience less recovery time than if you scheduled these surgeries separately. Here’s what to expect after a mommy makeover in terms of healing, time off work, physical limitations and more.

Understanding the Mommy Makeover Procedure

A mommy makeover is a personalized combination of cosmetic surgeries that aim to address changes brought on by childbearing and nursing. It’s designed to fit your unique needs and goals, focusing on areas most impacted by pregnancy, childbirth and weight gain or loss. 

Whichever procedures you choose, the overall goal is rejuvenation and restoration, helping you feel more comfortable and confident in your skin. The core procedures that often make up a mommy makeover include:

Tummy tuck 

A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty removes excess skin and tightens the abdominal muscles, which can separate during pregnancy. This procedure can reduce the appearance of a “shelf” scar after a cesarean section, remove loose abdominal skin and even get rid of stretch marks. For many women, a tummy tuck is a key step in reclaiming the abdominal area’s firmness and flatness.

Breast surgery

Pregnancy and breastfeeding can lead to changes in breast volume and shape. A breast augmentation restores lost volume through the use of breast implants, while a breast lift raises and firms the breasts to improve their shape and position. In some cases, both procedures are combined for comprehensive breast rejuvenation. 

For some women, a breast reduction may be more appropriate to relieve pain and discomfort caused by large, heavy breasts.


To refine and contour the body shape, liposuction is often used to remove stubborn fat deposits that diet and exercise alone can’t resolve. It’s particularly effective in areas like the hips, thighs and abdomen, enhancing the overall result of the mommy makeover.

Preparing for Your Mommy Makeover Recovery

Recovery from mommy makeover surgery varies from person to person, depending on which and how many cosmetic procedures involved. Typically, the initial recovery period can last several weeks, with full recovery taking a few months. The journey to your rejuvenated self requires patience and time, allowing your body to heal properly and reveal the full effects of your transformation.

In the first few days after your mommy makeover, you’ll need to arrange for help with childcare, household chores and other daily tasks. Having a support system in place will allow you to focus solely on your rest and recuperation. for a smoother and less stressful recovery period.

The Recovery Timeline: What to Expect

The first week post-op

During the first week after surgery, it’s normal to experience side effects including discomfort, swelling and bruising. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to manage discomfort, and it’s important to follow their instructions for use. Mobility may be limited, and you’ll be advised to avoid strenuous activities but encouraged to take short, gentle walks to promote circulation.

You’ll also wear a compression garment or garments at all times during this period. Compression garments help reduce swelling, provide support to the treated areas and can improve the contouring effects of procedures like liposuction and tummy tuck. Your plastic surgeon will advise you on how long to wear these garments.

Healing process and milestones

As the weeks progress, you’ll notice gradual improvements. Swelling and bruising will start to subside, and you’ll begin to see glimpses of your new body shape. 

Follow your surgeon’s advice on gradually resuming normal activities. Typically, mommy makeover patients can return to non-strenuous work within 2-4 weeks, but physical exercise should be reintroduced slowly, as advised by your surgeon.

Long-term recovery and results

Full recovery and the final results of your mommy makeover can take several months to become apparent. Factors such as your body’s natural healing process, adherence to post-op care instructions and lifestyle choices can influence recovery. Regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon are crucial to monitor your progress and address any concerns.

For more details, see our post How Long is Recovery From a Mommy Makeover?

Nutrition, Exercise and Lifestyle

Some lifestyle habits can help facilitate the healing process and get you back to feeling like yourself as quickly as possible. Discover some of our tips for a smooth recovery:

Diet and hydration

A balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients supports the healing process, while keeping hydrated aids in reducing swelling. Once your surgeon gives the go-ahead, gradually reintroducing exercise can help strengthen your body and improve recovery outcomes. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle not only aids in your recovery but also helps sustain your mommy makeover results long-term.

Support the healing process by eating a balanced, nutrient-dense diet that includes:

  • Protein: Protein is essential for wound healing and muscle repair. Include lean sources like chicken, fish, tofu, beans and lentils in your diet to support tissue repair.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Vitamin C and vitamin A, along with zinc and iron, play significant roles in the healing process. Citrus fruits, leafy greens, nuts and whole grains are excellent sources of these nutrients.
  • Plenty of water: Adequate hydration is crucial for healing. Water helps flush toxins from your body, reduces swelling and keeps your skin hydrated. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water a day, and consider adding hydrating foods like cucumbers, strawberries and watermelon to your diet.

Try to limit consumption of processed foods, sugars and high-sodium foods, as they can exacerbate inflammation and swelling. Alcohol and smoking should be also avoided, as they can impair the healing process.

Physical therapy and exercises

Engaging in physical therapy and specific post-op exercises can significantly enhance your recovery after a mommy makeover. Here’s how you can incorporate movement safely:

  • Initial recovery phase: In the first few weeks, focus on gentle movements to prevent blood clots and promote circulation. Short walks around your home are a good start, gradually increasing the distance as you feel able.
  • Incorporating physical therapy: Once your surgeon gives the green light, a physical therapist can tailor a program to your specific needs, helping you regain strength and flexibility without compromising your surgical results.
  • Specific exercises: As you progress, you’ll be able to incorporate more targeted exercises. Core strengthening, pelvic floor exercises and light resistance training can be beneficial, but it’s crucial to get guidance from your healthcare provider to ensure these activities are safe for your stage of recovery.

Remember–it’s essential to listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard. If you experience pain or discomfort beyond mild soreness, take it as a sign to slow down and consult with your surgeon.

By focusing on nutrition, hydration and safe physical activity, you can support your body’s healing process, contributing to a smoother, more effective recovery from your mommy makeover.

Post-Surgery Scar Care and Management

After a mommy makeover, it’s natural to have concerns about the appearance of scars. The good news is, with proper care, scars can heal well and become less noticeable over time. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Immediate post-op care: When you get out of surgery, your incisions with dressings or bandages. Follow all instructions carefully for changing these dressings to keep the area clean and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Scar minimization techniques: Once your surgeon gives the go-ahead, you can start using silicone gel sheets or scar creams. These products hydrate the scar tissue and can make scars softer, flatter and less visible.
  • Sun protection: UV exposure can darken scars, making them more prominent. Protect your scars from the sun by covering them with clothing or using a high-SPF sunscreen, as recommended by your surgeon.
  • Patience is key: Remember, scar maturation can take a year or longer. Over time, most scars fade significantly and become less noticeable.

Navigating Emotional Challenges 

Recovery from a mommy makeover isn’t just physical; it’s an emotional journey too. It’s natural to experience a rollercoaster of emotions, from excitement about your new body to impatience with the healing process. 

During these times, patience and self-care become your best allies. Engage in activities that soothe your mind, such as reading, meditation, or gentle walks, as your body permits. Remember, it’s okay to ask for support from friends, family, or even a professional counselor to navigate these emotional highs and lows.

Undergoing a mommy makeover is a transformative experience, not just physically but also emotionally. It’s important to acknowledge and prepare for the psychological aspects of this journey.

As your body heals and the final results of your mommy makeover begin to emerge, you’ll start adjusting to the changes in your appearance–a phase that shouldn’t be underestimated as a key part of your recovery.

Embracing your new body can take time, and a supportive environment plays a crucial role in this process. Surround yourself with people who uplift and encourage you, and remember that every change your body has undergone was a step towards feeling more like yourself.

By addressing both the physical and emotional aspects of recovery, you can navigate your mommy makeover journey with confidence and resilience, ultimately embracing the changes with a positive outlook.

When to Seek Help: Complications to Watch For

While a mommy makeover is generally safe, it’s crucial to be vigilant about any signs that might indicate complications. Signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, warmth, or unusual discharge at the incision sites, should prompt an immediate call to your plastic surgeon. 

Similarly, severe pain, shortness of breath and leg swelling can be signs of blood clots and require urgent attention. Being proactive about recognizing these signs can ensure prompt treatment and prevent more serious complications.

Your post-op appointments are a critical component of your recovery process. These check-ins allow your surgeon to monitor your healing, address any concerns and guide you through each recovery phase. Attend all scheduled appointments and don’t hesitate to reach out to your surgeon’s office between visits if you have questions or concerns. Open communication with your plastic surgeon is key to a smooth recovery.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Mommy Makeover?

Ideal candidates for this procedure are women who wish to address changes in their bodies brought on by pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding and who have completed their families. We recommend waiting until you’re finished having children to get a mommy makeover, as going through the changes of pregnancy again would likely affect your results.

If you’ve recently undergone significant weight loss, we recommend you be at a stable weight for at least six months before considering surgical procedures.

The best way to determine your candidacy for this procedure is by scheduling a mommy makeover consultation with an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Doctor

Choosing an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon is paramount for your safety and the success of your mommy makeover. Board certification means your surgeon has undergone rigorous training and adheres to the highest standards of practice in plastic surgery. They possess the expertise to customize your procedure to your specific needs while minimizing risks. 

When consulting with potential surgeons, ensure they are board-certified and have extensive experience in performing mommy makeovers. Their guidance will be invaluable in creating a treatment plan that aligns with your vision and ensures the best possible outcomes.


Recovering from a mommy makeover is a journey that requires time, patience and care. By preparing for your recovery and managing the physical and emotional aspects of healing, you can navigate this process successfully. 

Remember, following your plastic surgeon’s guidance and prioritizing your well-being are paramount to achieving the best possible outcomes. With the right support and care, you can enjoy the rejuvenating effects of your mommy makeover with confidence and satisfaction.

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