What’s Happened to Your Body Postpartum?

What’s Happened to Your Body Postpartum?

You’re thrilled to be a mother, but you may be surprised and dismayed at the changes pregnancy has wrought in your body. You’ve exercised, and you eat right, but when you look in the mirror, you see a different body than you had before children. You may see sagging breasts or breasts that are much smaller or larger than they were pre-pregnancy. Your abdomen carries a layer of fat that just won’t go away, no matter how many core exercises you do. Your buttocks and thighs may have loose skin instead of firm, tight skin. 

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jack Hensel, Jr. with Lowcountry Plastic Surgery Center in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, can help transform your body so that it looks similar to your pre-baby figure. He performs mommy makeovers that incorporate two or more procedures at one appointment, saving time and money, or he can perform one procedure to correct a flaw in your postpartum body.

Following are common changes in your body after pregnancy and childbirth and some of the procedures Dr. Hensel can perform so that you’re pleased when you look in the mirror. 

Changes in breast size and/or shape 

Pregnancy is likely to change the size and shape of your breasts. Your breasts may become permanently larger or smaller than they were pre-pregnancy. 

In addition to a change in size, your breasts may sag. Researchers don’t blame breastfeeding for sagging breasts. Instead, weight gain, older age, and smoking are culprits. All women need to gain weight when pregnant to support your baby’s health, but the extra fat accumulates, and gravity does its work; your breasts sag. Researchers say that breasts sag more with each pregnancy

Breasts that sag make you look older than you are. You may miss the rounded, perky shape of your pre-pregnancy breasts. As part of a mommy makeover, Dr. Hensel can perform a breast lift, removing excess skin and tissue and repositioning your areola to give you firm, rounded breasts. At the same time, he can perform breast augmentation if your pregnancy left you with smaller breasts than you had previously, or breast reduction if having children has left you with large, pendulous breasts. 

Large stomach and sagging skin on the abdomen

Your body adapted to your growing baby inside your uterus. After giving birth, the muscles on your abdominal wall may have separated, leaving an empty space. Sometimes the gap closes on its own after birth, but many times it doesn’t, leaving you with a large abdomen that makes it look like you may still be pregnant. Your core muscles don’t work as well as they did, so it may be harder to lift, just when you need to in order to take care of your baby. 

If you exercise and eat healthfully and still have a large abdomen, Dr. Hensel can perform a tummy tuck to tighten and reconnect your abdominal muscles and eliminate excess skin and fat. You’ll have a flatter, more toned abdomen and can feel confident in a bathing suit. 

Each year after age 20, your body produces less collagen and elastin, proteins that keep your skin firm. Hormones during pregnancy make those fibers softer, lessening your skin’s elasticity. Pregnancy may have stretched your skin beyond its limits to retract back to its pre-pregnancy shape. 

If your muscles are still intact but you have excess fat from your pregnancy that remains on your abdomen and spills over, creating an extra bulge, Dr. Hensel can perform liposuction, sucking out the extra fat using vacuum technology. 

Loose skin around abdomen, buttocks, and thighs

Is your trouble area your buttocks and/or thighs? Pregnancy may have left loose skin there, too. Dr. Hensel performs lower body lifts that firm the skin and remove excess fat on your buttocks, thighs, and lower abdomen. 

Call Lowcountry Plastic Surgery Center or book an appointment online today to see what medical technology can do for your postpartum body.

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