After Pregnancy: To Tuck Or Not To Tuck?

If you’ve had a baby and have lost the weight you had gained but still have excess fat and skin around your mid-section perhaps its time to consider a tummy tuck also knows as an abdominoplasty to get ahead of the weight loss curve.

Hormone Levels & Baby Weight

Most plastic surgeons will advise you to wait for a tummy tuck rather than having one directly after giving birth. Your skin elasticity is affected during and directly after pregnancy, and your body needs to go back to normal hormone levels, and normal function of your uterus. During pregnancy and birth, the deep layer of your tissues (fascia) is both ripped and stretched. The hormones cause your deep fascial layer to soften to accommodate your baby, and these hormones are no longer active six months after delivery, and if you get a tummy tuck, your tissues will hold the stitches better. Six months the minimum amount of time you should wait after giving birth to get a tummy tuck. The actual amount of time to wait depends on whether you are breastfeeding or not. Breastfeeding keeps your hormone levels higher than normal well after pregnancy. If you are breastfeeding, you are giving whatever is in your bloodstream to your child. There are risks associated with giving an anesthetic to you if you are actively breastfeeding. You can pump out your milk for the surgery, and for the time you have anesthetic or pain medication in your bloodstream, but it is a disruption.

If you choose not to breastfeed, wait three months after delivery. Most importantly, you need to lose your pregnancy pounds. If you gained more weight than you can lose in three or six months, wait until you reach your goal. If you choose to breastfeed your baby, you may need to wait as long as three months after you’ve stopped breastfeeding.

Future Pregnancy Plans

If you don’t plan on having another baby, you can proceed with your tummy tuck surgery without worry. If you know or suspect you may have another baby in a couple of years, you should wait. If you don’t find out when you want to have another baby, you can have a tummy tuck and enjoy the results for an unknown period. That is a personal decision with no wrong answer. Your surgeon is there to listen to your thoughts on the matter. They can advise you on the best tummy tuck options for you and your pregnancy.

Dr. Y. Anthony Nakamura is an Arlington Plastic Surgeon Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Nakamura is Medical Director of Accent on You. With over 25 years of plastic surgery knowledge, Dr. Nakamura takes a personal approach to every patient while continuing to provide excellent care. Dr. Nakamura has been named 2015-2016 Top10MD an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeed within the United States. To schedule your appointment contact Dr. Nakamura at 817-417-7200.