Both invasive and noninvasive approaches can help
We’ve all seen the celebrity moms — one minute they are flaunting their growing bump on the red carpet, and the next they are rockin’ a toned tummy in a bikini on the cover of our favorite magazine, seemingly a few days later. How’s that possible? you might ask. Achieving our pre-baby body immediately after giving birth isn’t as easy as the celebrity moms make it appear to be.
Whether you hit the treadmill with a vengeance or even envision an instant fix like a “mommy makeover,” there are surgical and nonsurgical ways to obtain that svelte, shapely pre-baby physique we crave after baby is born.
Our experts — Kirsten Mengden, store manager at Fleet Feet Sports San Antonio, and Genevieve Mendoza, practice administrator at San Antonio
Cosmetic Surgery (SACS) — share invasive and noninvasive approaches tofight the daunting battle of the postpartum body.
The right attire
“Eighty percent of women are in the wrong size bra,” says Mengden of Fleet Feet. “You should be re-measured every year, especially after having a baby and/or nursing.” When you’re nursing, the flow of milk can stretch breast skin and tissue. This can leave women with an undesirable “stretched” look. Your breasts may or may not return to their previous shape. Some women’s breasts remain large, and others shrink. “Breast tissue is held up by a ligament,” says Mengden. “Once this is stretched, it does not bounce back, so wearing a properly fitted bra is crucial for both small- and large-busted women. Bra life is about six to 12 months when the garment is cared for properly. You do not need to wear two different bras. There are bras made for every bust size and activity. Find the right one so you don’t have to double up.”
Choosing athletic wear after baby may be intimidating, but it’s all about choosing pieces that make you feel comfortable, such as sweat-wicking tanks that don’t cling to the stomach. “The right clothing can not only make your workout more pleasurable, but help you feel better too,” says Mengden. “A new post-baby workout outfit can be a great motivational tool to get you back out and moving. Most of us don’t feel too pretty in those old sweats and cotton T-shirts.”
There are numerous surgical procedures to get rid of the stubborn belly fat and other problem areas we dread. Like many, you may be unsure or not ready to have a surgical procedure but don’t want to struggle with trying to achieve the ideal figure. Cool Sculpting is an attractive option that can reduce areas of stubborn fat around the hips, abdomen and thighs without any need for surgery. “If you are looking to get fine-tuned, Cool Sculpting is a great option,” says Mendoza. “There is no down time, it’s easier and less expensive than surgery.” During a treatment, the specialist will use a tool that delivers targeted cooling energy to the layer of fat beneath the skin. This energy doesn’t harm your skin, but it causes the underlying fat cells to free and crystallize. The body will naturally eliminate these fat cells, resulting in a tighter, slimmer shape of the treated areas.
The Tummy Tuck
You’ve probably tried one time or another every ointment and cream to rid your midsection of those lovely stretch marks, and discouraged, you feel there is no way to get your body back. Well, a tummy tuck may be your answer. “A tummy tuck is a great option for getting rid of those beautiful stretch marks,” says Mendoza. “The surgeon can actually take that skin away and leave a minimal scar lower than a C-section scar. Our office offers additional features with the tummy tuck where the surgeon will actually corset the muscles underneath the uterus that move after pregnancy and giving birth. With this technique you will lose inches in your waist.”
Loose, sagging skin around the abdomen is a common problem after weight loss and pregnancy and a part of the natural aging process. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, will achieve a slimmer contour of the midsection, tighten skin and remove excess fat. “We all want to look good in a bikini, and the tummy tuck will help with that,” says Mendoza. “Mini, mid, and full options are offered when choosing the tummy tuck procedure.”
Due to hormone fluctuations with pregnancy and size changes, the breasts are affected before, during and after pregnancy. These physical changes have many moms considering cosmetic surgery to perfect their imperfections. Whether it’s enhancing breasts, restoring a youthful position or alleviating discomfort from large breasts, there are various options to achieving the body and shape we envision. “Everyone has a different definition to their breasts, and getting a standard implant might solve their issue,” says Mendoza. “If the breasts are flaccid in shape, filling with an implant and positioning them symmetrically would be ideal and pleasing to the client.”
A breast lift, or mastopexy, will change the shape of the breasts. “During a breast lift, excess skin is removed, and the areola is positioned in a more natural area,” says Mendoza. The breasts will be reshaped to restore firmness and raise them. In many cases, women have discomfort or large breasts that are not proportionate to their body, and a breast reduction is ideal. “If there is too much breast tissue, a reduction can help ease complications and make the look of the breasts cosmetically appealing,” explains Mendoza.
Many of us are guilty of wishing we were plumper in certain areas and not so much in others. Fat transfer, or fat grafting, is a procedure that can grant this very wish. The fat transfer procedure moves fat from areas in which you have excess fat and injects it into areas that may be lacking in volume, like your breasts or buttocks. “The Brazilian butt lift is very common, but you can transfer fat to about anywhere, fat from your tummy to your breasts or buttocks,” explains Mendoza. “Or even the rolls from your bra under the arm or on your back.”
By Kristin Mears