“A lot of women come in for a ‘Mommy Makeover,’” says Emily Pollard, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon from Bala Cynwyd, Pa., “That can include a breast lift and liposuction to help with a belly pooch or other problem areas.”

When to Consider a Cosmetic Procedure

According to Dr. Pollard, the time to consider a cosmetic procedure is at least a year after the birth of your last child — plenty of time for your body’s hormones to become more regularized and to lose as much baby weight as you can on your own.

“You should wait until your body is back closer to normal, and you’ve got a more regular sleep schedule and have stopped breastfeeding,” Pollard says. “It’s all part of the big picture.”

What Liposuction Can and Can’t Do

Pollard cautions against seeing liposuction as a way to drop the weight gained during pregnancy. Liposuction, she says, is designed specifically to change the shape of a patient’s body — removing a post-baby pooch or helping with unsightly problems such as saddlebags. “You won’t have any major weight loss after a liposuction procedure, but you will have a different body shape,” she says.

Part of your plastic surgeon’s responsibility, Pollard says, is ensuring that your expectations are realistic. While the results from procedures such as liposuction create a marked change in a patient’s appearance, it is vital for patients to understand what results are possible.

Surgical Options for a Mommy Makeover

Alfredo Hoyos, MD, a plastic surgeon from Colombia who has invented several techniques, explains that the needs of individual patients dictate which procedures are best for women who want a mommy makeover.

“The female body obviously goes through many changes during childbirth and pregnancy. The main ones we work with are stretch marks, the increase of body fat, stretching of skin and the stretching of abdominal muscles (called diastasis),” he says. “I have refined multiple liposuction techniques that deal with all of these challenges.”

The three variations Dr. Hoyos offers include:

  • High-definition liposuction. This technique works best for patients with excess fat, but no stretch marks or evidence of diastasis.
  • Mommy hi-def. This technique is used by Hoyos for patients who have some extra skin or stretch marks. The surgeon performs a liposuction procedure in conjunction with a mini-tummy tuck. It may also include repairing abdominal muscles that have separated after childbearing.
  • High-definition tummy tuck. Hoyos offers this option to patients who have stretch marks, diastasis, excess fat and loose skin. It includes a full tummy tuck and all-over liposuction.

“The changes of pregnancy and delivery might not be corrected by liposuction only,” Hoyos says. “It’s in the hands of the surgeon to explain the ideal surgery for a mom, to meet her expectations and get her the best results.”