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I can move houses, but I can’t change my body!

This week I have been preparing for an article on Mummy Makeover, due to be published in the July edition of Vogue Magazine. It just so happened that I was seeing several patients who have either had a Mummy Makeover or are considering it. A Mummy Makeover is a combination of procedures, usually involving a tummy tuck and breast procedure (lift, augmentation or reduction), ideally performed at the one operation.

One of my patients, let’s call her Jenny, is a 50-year-old woman with 3 children. Jenny had her procedure done in stages; breasts first, then 12 months later, her tummy and some liposuction. On reflection this week she would have preferred to have had her procedures at the one time, because it is much less expensive, however she had quite a bit of guilt around having anything done. (It is so common for mothers to feel guilt for focusing on themselves because they are so used to putting everybody else first.)

Jenny had her breasts done first because, “My breasts were an asset when I was young and just an embarrassment when I had finished having children. I was always trying to cover them up.”

However, she has received the greatest physical benefit from her tummy tuck. Jenny used to do 300 sit ups a day and could do 5-minute planks. Irrespective of how hard she worked, she could never get the definition she desired in her abs. Even though she had read widely on health issues, she was unaware that with pregnancy the main abdominal muscle (running vertically from ribs to pelvis) splits in two to make room for the growing baby. After one child it sort of comes back together but after 2 or more children, it remains separated. It is why there is always a bulge in a mother’s lower abdomen because no matter how much ‘sucking in’ is done, there is nothing to prevent the contents of the tummy just bulging out.

“Every time I had a meal, I looked like I was pregnant and I thought this was just something mothers had to put up with,” Jenny said.

“After the tummy tuck I ate less, because I felt full more quickly. I have also had no back pain and I can now see the results from all my hard work in the gym. I can wear anything and I am not looking at myself in the mirror from the side and thinking I’ve got a pot belly.”

Reflecting on her experience, she said, “We don’t even hesitate to renovate the bathroom, yet we delay fixing our bodies. I can move houses, but I can’t change my body!”

Thankfully, Mummy Makeover, in an experienced plastic surgeon’s hands, is a safe procedure that can restore a woman’s body after pregnancy.

As Jenny says, “My body is what I live in and it is now as good as it can be for my age.”

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