Post-Baby Tummy Tuck: Timing Is Everything


Having a child is one of the most challenging and rewarding things you can do as a woman. Unfortunately, the miracle of childbirth can take a toll on your body.

A lot of women experience a separation of the abdominal muscles and stretching of the abdominal skin during pregnancy. For some, the skin and muscles can bounce right back and have no effect on the outward appearance. Other women are left with stretch marks and sagging skin that can compromise their confidence.

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that many new moms who want their pre-baby bodies back consider. A tummy tuck will help sculpt your body and create a shapelier figure, but only if you time the procedure appropriately.


New mothers are taught that breastfeeding will provide valuable antibodies to their babies that will contribute to the health of the child throughout their lives. What some new mothers might not realize is that breastfeeding can have an effect on their weight.

Breastfeeding causes hormonal changes in the body. An increase in prolactin (which is the hormone that stimulates milk production) can increase your appetite. Waking up during the night to breastfeed can also take a toll on your weight. Leptin and ghrelin levels become unbalanced when the body is sleep-deprived. An imbalance in these hormones can cause you to crave sugary and starchy foods.

Weight gain is not uncommon when you breastfeed, so you should wait until your baby has been weaned for a few months before you consider a tummy tuck. This will give your hormones enough time to balance themselves out so that you can determine if you will be able to lose the fat on your own, or if you will require the help of a plastic surgeon.

Weight Fluctuation

Most plastic surgeons advise their patients to reach a sustainable weight prior to undergoing a tummy tuck procedure. Your weight will likely fluctuate up and down in the months following the birth of your child. A healthy lifestyle and plenty of exercise will help you stabilize your weight at a healthy level.

Tummy tuck procedures are not designed to act as a weight loss tool. Instead, these procedures allow a surgeon to sculpt the body through the removal of loose skin and fat cells. Patients who are overweight have a higher risk of developing a post-operative infection or experiencing complications with anesthesia.

The standard rule is that patients with a BMI over 30 are not good candidates for a tummy tuck. Give your body enough time to recover from labor and birth and reach a stable weight before you schedule a tummy tuck.

Future Family Plans

Perhaps the most important factor that you need to consider when you determine the right time to have a tummy tuck after the birth of your child is whether or not you plan to have additional children.

Women who experience stretching of the skin and abdominal muscles with their first pregnancy are likely to experience these same symptoms with subsequent pregnancies. A tummy tuck after your first child can be a waste of money if you plan to have more children in the future.

Any additional pregnancies can potentially reverse the positive effects of your tummy tuck and require a revision surgery to repair the damage. Wait until you are sure you have finished building your family before you schedule a tummy tuck procedure.

With a post-baby tummy tuck, timing is everything. Contact Dr. Nygaard at Renaissance Center for Facial and Body Sculpting to determine when you are ready to sculpt your post-baby body with a tummy tuck.

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