Mommy Makeover Recovery: Your Complete Timeline

If you are a mom considering restoring your confidence with a mommy makeover, then the timeline for recovery is front of mind: Who will drive the kids to practice? How long will you need help? While mommy makeover recovery is said to take an average of 4-6 weeks, you’ll hit milestones as you approach your full recovery, one step at a time. To help you plan ahead, here’s the full timeline from Santa Rosa board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Francisco Canales, Dr. Heather Furnas, and Dr. Eric Culbertson.

How to prepare for mommy makeover recovery

A healthy recovery begins before surgery. Save up vacation days and clear everything from your calendar for at least two weeks following surgery—it is a time for complete selfishness! Make arrangements for childcare and pet care, make sure essential items are at waist level (reaching will be unsafe), pre-fill prescriptions, and run any errands that you’ll need taken care of for the next month or so. Prepare your recovery space with plenty of pillows and entertainment, and make sure you have everything you will need conveniently at hand. Lastly, gather together comfy, button-down tops or zippered hoodies (so you won’t have to lift them over your head) and other recovery-appropriate clothes that won’t irritate healing incisions or otherwise cause discomfort.

Mommy makeover recovery timeline

The mommy makeover typically consists of multiple plastic surgery procedures performed at once: the rationale is that, with a busy lifestyle, it is best to consolidate recovery from multiple procedures. With combined procedures, your recovery time will closely mirror the recovery time of the most extensive procedure in your makeover—for most women, this is a tummy tuck, and our timeline below assumes that a tummy tuck will be part of yours. Procedures like labiaplasty, breast augmentation, breast lift, and liposuction are also often included in a mommy makeover, but have shorter recovery times than tummy tuck.

When looking at any timeline, remember that yours may be different: the procedures included in your mommy makeover and what “normal” looks like for you will influence when these milestones occur for you. However, for our average mommy makeover patient, here’s what you can expect throughout this journey:

Week 1: Protect your incisions, but move gently

The day of your surgery, after making sure you are ready to leave the surgery center, we’ll send you home with a trusted adult of your choice—you will not be able to drive—as well as detailed post-op instructions. You should have an adult available to help you at all times for the first 24 hours.

Expect only gradual progress in this early recovery phase; the first few days, you will be coping with the after-effects of anesthesia and your energy will be at its lowest point. Still, we encourage you to get up and walk around to help with circulation and recovery, but with very strict limits: no lifting anything over 5 pounds, as this can strain your healing incisions.

If a tummy tuck was part of your makeover, your muscles have been repaired and are healing internally. You need to be very gentle with yourself so these can heal properly. Also, expect to walk with a slight bend at the waist to avoid straining your external and internal incisions.

During this time, as well as the following week, we advise you to focus entirely on resting and healing (you’ll need full-time help with childcare; you’ll also need help with housework and any heavy-lifting).

Remember that while you will be at home, you won’t be alone for your recovery! You’ll have a check-in with your plastic surgeon several days after surgery, as well as at intervals throughout your recovery, with a final check around 6 months out. Throughout your recovery, we will evaluate your body’s healing process and give you personalized advice.

Week 2: Downtime continues

You’ve gotten through the hardest part! By week two, most women begin to feel a bit stronger and more like themselves. You may take short walks outside, for example, but continue to rest most of the time to allow your body to heal. Indulge in a nap any time you feel the urge to rest!

While you may feel so good you are tempted to bend some of the rules in your post-operative instructions, do not do so! Mommy makeover recovery instructions have been refined with years of surgeon and patient input, and every detail matters to healing quickly and achieving ideal results.

Week 3-6: Return to work at a desk; you may drive after you’re off Rx medication

You will likely be able to come out of the “downtime” part of recovery after 2-3 weeks, and you’ll be able to do many things you normally do, like return to a desk job and go out to a restaurant. Your surgeon may clear you to drive again if you’re off any narcotic pain medications and can comfortably wear a seat belt around your stomach and breasts. Still, you won’t be able to lift heavy grocery bags or over-filled laundry baskets, so you’ll need to continue to get help around the house and with small children. Continue with walking and other light activities to promote a healthy healing process.

Week 6+: Resume your routines, like exercise and housework, gradually

You may at this point be cleared to lift some things heavier than 10 pounds. You also may no longer need help with basic housework, and you can get more active again! In other words, you can get back into your normal routine—just remember to gradually return to your full capacity as far as physical work, playing with children, and exercising. For example, don’t resume difficult workouts immediately, instead choosing easier options to test your readiness.

Sex may be safe again after about 4-6 weeks, depending on whether labiaplasty was part of your procedure.

Months 2 through 6: Scars are healing, and you can show off results

As the months go by, you will hit more milestones: after your plastic surgeon confirms your incisions are adequately healed, you will be able to don swimwear and go swimming. While some latent swelling may still be evident, at this point you’ll feel confident showing off your transformed figure, and can shop for new clothing to flatter your curves. We’ll give you scar care advice to help minimize their appearance during this time.

In total, the mommy makeover healing process can last about six months, despite the fact that most patients return to their routine much earlier. Most swelling has subsided after six months, and your body is well progressed in the healing process—meaning that you’ll be seeing your results when you look in the mirror! Note that your breast surgery results, and other procedures like labiaplasty, may be final sooner than those of your tummy tuck.

View our before and after gallery »

3 tips for a faster recovery period

We go over a detailed recovery booklet with every patient, full of critical information for your safe, speedy recovery, so the best advice for a faster mommy makeover recovery is to follow all your instructions carefully. Here are 3 of the top instructions we give you to speed up your mommy makeover recovery:

  • Tip #1: Walk short distances early on, as gentle movement on a regular basis promotes healing and prevents complications after surgery.
  • Tip #2: Protect your incisions by avoiding lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds. Even lifting small kids engages muscles of the chest and abdomen and thus puts stress on your incisions while they are healing, potentially widening your scars.
  • Tip #3: Eat a healthy, nutrition-packed diet to support your ability to heal, and, in turn, help promote beautiful results.

In our experience, the best recoveries and results happen when patients are diligent about following their post-operative instructions to the letter.

What does mommy makeover include? Customizing with liposuction, tummy tuck, breast surgery, & vaginal rejuvenation

Your mommy makeover will be customized to your concerns. We will ask you about what brought you into our office, and make procedure recommendations based on the frustrations you want addressed. Plastic surgeries that are frequently included in mommy makeover include:

  • Tummy tuck — creates a firm abdominal wall and removes excess skin
  • Breast augmentation — gives breasts volume and shape
  • Breast lift — raises sagging nipples and breasts, and removes excess skin
  • Combined breast lift with augmentation — improves both volume and sagging
  • Breast reduction — removes excess breast fat and skin for a proportionate look and feel
  • Liposuction — reduces stubborn fat pockets in the back, abdomen, thighs, or other areas
  • Labiaplasty — decreases the size of the labia majora and/or minora
  • Vaginal rejuvenationVaginoplasty surgery or non-surgical rejuvenation for improved function and appearance

Your mommy makeover may also include non-surgical stretch mark treatments with laser skin resurfacing or microneedling at our onsite Santa Rosa medical spa, Allegro MedSpa. Mommy makeover patients also have the option of adding on non-surgical vaginal rejuvenation, including EmpowerRF for strengthening the pelvic floor and Cliovana for improving sexual satisfaction.

Schedule your Santa Rosa mommy makeover consultation with our board certified plastic surgeons

Santa Rosa board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Eric Culbertson, Dr. Heather Furnas and Dr. Francisco Canales are dedicated to helping women reclaim their bodies after the effects of childbearing or aging. Our plastic surgeons have extensive experience in cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, and are internationally-renowned labiaplasty experts, as well. Schedule your personal consultation today by calling 707-537-2111 or contacting our practice online.

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