How Long After Pregnancy Should You Consider Plastic Surgery?
It’s no secret that when a woman gets pregnant, her body undergoes many changes, and may continue to change for up to a year after the baby is born. An increasing number of women who are eager to regain their pre-pregnancy physique are considering plastic surgery after pregnancy as an option.
There’s no simple answer to the question “how long after pregnancy should I wait to have plastic surgery?” It mostly depends on which area of the body you want to focus on. Women usually are interested in having surgery on their breasts, abdomen, love handles, labia, and vagina. Here’s a look at each.
Your breasts will be changing for several months after giving birth. If you’ve decided to breastfeed, the changes will continue until your baby is completely weaned. Breast surgery, including breast reduction, breast enhancement, or a breast lift should be avoided until the skin and breast tissue have stabilized.
The timeline: Wait three to six months after breastfeeding, or three to six months after giving birth if you’re not breastfeeding.
At 6 months postpartum, it may look like your abdomen has stabilized, but your abdominal wall may still be changing and reshaping itself under the skin and fat cells. Having liposuction or a tummy tuck at this time may be premature.
The timeline: Wait at least 12 months after giving birth before having any abdominal surgery. Give your body more time if you’ve had multiple pregnancies within 24 months of each other.
Love handles are heavily influenced by fluctuating hormones. And of course a women’s body is flooded with hormones during pregnancy, after giving birth, and while breastfeeding. If the love handles appeared at the onset of your pregnancy, then see if they will disappear on their own or with even small changes to diet and exercise.
The timeline: It is typically safe to pursue liposuction to target love handles within a year of giving birth. Follow your surgeon’s recommendations.
Labia and Vagina
Elongated labia and widening of the vaginal canal are some of the possible consequences of giving birth. As with other parts of your body, time is needed for these areas to return to their original shapes after delivering a baby. If you feel if your vagina is looser than it was before having a vaginal delivery and it’s affecting your sex life, then surgery may be helpful.
Your labia will typically shrink after delivery. But if you find that they get in the way of intercourse, exercise, or inhibit your choice of clothing, then a labiaplasty may be the surgery for you.
The timeline: Wait at least 6 months after giving birth before pursuing surgery on your vagina or labia. In addition, it’s best to wait until you are sure you are done having children as giving birth can undo any surgical improvements.
A Good Rule of Thumb
Give yourself at least 6 months to recover before pursuing plastic surgery after pregnancy. Allowing yourself a full year of recovery is even better. Remember, you’ve just given birth and are now taking care of an infant, which puts a lot of stress on the mind and body. Even a minimally invasive procedure will only add to that stress.
But not having the surgery you want right away doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to something special. There are a number of non-surgical skin care procedures that may be appropriate for new mothers who want to look and feel their best. At Northeastern Plastic Surgery, we have an on-staff aesthetician who can perform microneedling, extractions, and SilkPeel® Dermalinfusion, which all help improve the health and appearance of the skin.
Northeastern Plastic Surgery understands your desire for a beautiful, youthful looking body and facial appearance. We use the latest plastic surgery techniques to perform a variety of surgical procedures. Dr. Fodero and the staff are very friendly, helpful, and available to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us today to learn more about the services we offer.