Children are one of life’s greatest gifts—they’re full of joy, and you get to watch them grow into (hopefully) well-functioning adults.
A tummy tuck is another great gift—it helps your abdominal contour, which can definitely help one’s self-esteem.
But what if you want that tummy tuck AND you want a kid? Is it possible? Can you really have both?
The answer is yes, but there’s way more to it than that.
Plastic surgeons and other doctors all agree that there is a major caveat if you want to have children and also get a tummy tuck at some point.
Pregnancy puts a lot of different types of strain on the body, so you have to be aware that a tummy tuck also occurs in the same area that pregnancy does.
A tummy tuck helps with sagging skin, but pregnancy requires your skin to be able to stretch out to accommodate the ever-growing size of the fetus. Thus, the abdomen needs to be in good condition if you want to be able to have a child.
So here’s your caveat:
If you want to get a tummy tuck, then you should be sure that you’re not going to have any children afterward.
It is still feasible to have a baby after a tummy tuck, but doctors agree that you should wait at least 6 or more months after the delivery of your final child if you are going to get that tummy tuck.
And it’s absolutely still safe!
If you have a child after your tummy tuck—after all, not all pregnancies are planned—then you won’t have any health complications with your pregnancy.
Dr. Peter Aldea hits the nail on the head about why you should finish having children first:
“The process of pregnancy involves tremendous expansion of the abdomen as the uterus goes from the size of a lemon to that of a large watermelon. This results not only in a sideways PERMANENT splitting of the 6 pack (rectus) muscles but a stretching out and expansion of the muscles and the overlying skin. As a result, to reverse these changes, the muscles need to be put together and the excess skin removed. If you were to become pregnant again after the repair, much of the repair, if not all, will be stretched out and reversed by the pregnancy. For this reason, you really should have this operation AFTER you are done having children.”
And of course, that’s still not all there is to it.
Dr. Robert Lowen says this about the matter:
“After you are healed from the tummy tuck, say 4-6 months, it would certainly be OK from the safety point of view, but obviously if you were going to get pregnant that soon after having the procedure, you would just postpone it until after. The beauty of a tummy tuck and liposuction is how good you look. The difference between before and after can be life-changing. I see no reason to deny yourself that if you don’t really know when or if you will be having more children. Just be honest with yourself: you may need a revision. If you can accept that, then why not have the procedure?”
But there are plenty of arguments that can be used to refute those statements.
Dr. Gary Culbertson succinctly says, “Tummy Tucks are extensive procedures and should not be taken lightly. They can also be expensive. Most patients will finish with child bearing before going through an Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck.”
Because surgeries are expensive, check with your finances before diving into a tummy tuck—or any other cosmetic surgery.
If it’s going to be several more years before you have a child and the appearance of your stomach is important to you, then no one will hold it against you if you elect to do the surgery before you have your child.
Like having a child, getting operated on is a big, life-changing decision. You don’t want the results to get reversed by something preventable.
There are certainly cases where it makes sense to go ahead and get the tummy tuck of your dreams, even if you’re planning on having children in the future.
If you’ve lost over 100 pounds and aren’t going to be having children for quite some time, then you might want to get the tummy tuck sooner than later. Overhanging skin can cause skin irritation, rashes, and even infections, so it’s important to attend to that before it gets out of hand. Plus, loose, extra skin can make it difficult for you to wear your clothes or do some of your daily activities.
As with any surgery, pregnancy, or other life-changing decision, you need to do your research. What it boils down to is what’s best for you individually. If you want to have a child after you get a tummy tuck, it’s perfectly safe and you shouldn’t worry about your health. However, having a child will more than likely reverse whatever effects your tummy tuck had.
Most doctors agree that you should wait until you’re done having children if you want to get a tummy tuck, and they recommend waiting about six months after you deliver your final child. Your skin needs as much time as possible to heal and go back into place however much it can.
Surgery can get pretty expensive, so it might seem wasteful to have to get the same one more than once just because you decided to have a child afterward.
Take the time to sit down and create a plan for what’s next in your life. And no matter what you choose to do in what order, there will be a plastic surgeon glad to put you under the knife whenever you’re ready for it.