I Just Had My Last Baby: When Can I Get a Tummy Tuck?

You wouldn’t trade your family for the world, but you would give anything to get your pre-pregnancy body back.

If you’re considering a tummy tuck to restore your abs and feel like yourself again, you’ve come to the right place. Frederick H. Watkins, MD, is one of the most sought-after, board-certified plastic surgeons because he approaches your procedure as an experienced physician, a skilled engineer, and a talented artist. 

Dr. Watkins is well-known for helping moms in and around Rockville, Maryland, and McClean, Virginia, recontour their post-pregnancy bodies, and it all starts with a tummy tuck

But before you schedule your tummy tuck, here’s what Dr. Watkins wants you to know about the procedure and how long to wait before you do it.

How pregnancy and childbirth change your body

Just like motherhood changed your life emotionally, pregnancy changed your body physically. As your baby (or babies) grew inside you, your muscles and skin stretched to their maximum capacity and beyond. The damage is even more severe if you had multiples — twins, triplets, or more.

The hormonal shifts during pregnancy also altered your body. Specifically, the hormone relaxin loosened your ligaments and joints, softening your tissues to accommodate your baby and the delivery. However, it also left you with laxity that’s hard to regain later.

Finally, weight gain during pregnancy is one of the most apparent changes. While it's desirable for women who start with a normal-weight BMI to gain about 25-30 pounds, many women pack on the pounds during pregnancy, making it tough to shed after their baby is born. 

Although some women bounce back quickly after childbirth, others struggle with stubborn fat pockets, lax muscles, and loose skin for the rest of their lives — and that’s where a tummy tuck comes in.

Tummy tuck after childbirth: How long to wait 

This is the top question we hear from first-time and last-time moms alike. While we understand your eagerness to get your prepregnancy body back, there are several factors to consider before you undergo a tummy tuck.

Don’t get a tummy tuck if you plan to have another baby

While the title of this blog post suggests that you’re reading this because you’re done having children, it’s worth mentioning that women still considering future pregnancies should postpone a tummy tuck until their families are complete. 

If you get pregnant again after you’ve had a tummy tuck, it will undo all Dr. Watkins’ work. 

Wait at least six months after your last baby for a tummy tuck

Dr. Watkins recommends waiting at least six months after delivering your last baby before scheduling a tummy tuck. Why? Because that’s how long it takes for your abdominal tissues to heal. Undergoing surgery before your muscles, ligaments, and skin have healed is dangerous and useless. 

Mommy makeover: Beyond a tummy tuck

Pregnancy affects more than your abs; it also changes your breasts. Pregnancy and postpartum nursing gave you ample breasts full of milk and vitality for a while, but now they’ve lost their volume and appear smaller than they were before you had children. They may even be misshapen or uneven.

It sounds like you could benefit from a mommy makeover — a combo tummy tuck and breast lift or breast augmentation. In this all-in-one procedure, Dr. Watkins customizes your surgery to restore symmetry and balance to your body, reducing fat stores, reshaping tissue, removing excess skin, and shoring up your underlying muscles.

If you’ve had your last baby and are ready for a tummy tuck or mommy makeover, request a consultation with Dr. Watkins online or call our location in McLean, Virginia, or Rockville, Maryland, today. 

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