I Got A Tummy Tuck & Now I Love My Post-Baby Body

I totally get the appeal of wanting tummy-tuck surgery after having kids. When I got back to my pre-baby weight, the number on the scale looked the same, but my clothes didn’t fit right and my stomach was noticeably less firm and flat. A friend had warned me that, like an airplane, pregnancy causes "contents to shift during flight." Boy, was she right. 

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The tummy tuck definitely falls on the most-wanted list for many women and especially moms after one or more pregnancies. That's why I was glad Sarah J. of Richmond, California, was willing to go on the record about her experience, so other women might learn a little bit about the procedure if they're thinking about having it done.

Tell me a little about yourself!

"I'm in my forties, a married stay-at-home mom with four kids, and I got a tummy tuck and a Diastasis recti repair about two years ago."

Diastasis recti?

"I had four pregnancies and each of the babies was over eight pounds! After my third pregnancy, there was a separation in my abdominal muscles that made my stomach look even more potbellied. I tried to fix it with physical therapy, but the next pregnancy made it worse."

Was that part of what prompted the tummy tuck?

"Yes and no. Once I decided to have the tummy tuck, I knew I wanted them to fix the muscles too. The tummy tuck was really about getting my body back after babies. Even though I’m pretty fit, I had a lot of excess skin that I just couldn’t lose. I hated looking at it in the mirror and the way I always looked vaguely three months pregnant."

What did your husband think of the idea?

"He was a little leery of the cost at first. It was just over $10,000 and insurance doesn’t cover it, so it isn’t something to take lightly. But he knew that I was unhappy and I think he felt like after basically a decade of being pregnant or nursing, I’d 'earned it,' so to speak."

Tell me about how the procedure was for you.

"Well, I felt like I knew what to expect because I'd talked a lot with my doctor about it and hung out on websites where people talk about plastic surgery. I was still surprised at how much pain I was in the first few days afterward though. I was on the good drugs for several days and then I was just mostly sore and constipated."

What was it like trying to be a mom as you recovered?

"That was tough, really tough. I had a binder and was wrapped tightly, but it was hard for my youngest to understand that my lap was off-limits. I slept in a recliner for several days and didn’t sleep well so I was kind of out of it. My mom came down to help and that was a lifesaver."

How long did it take you to see the final results?

"I was swollen for a while, but even early on, once the layers of bandages started coming off, I could tell a difference. I feel like it took a few months for it all to settle. I love my tummy now."

Do you have much scarring?

"Not as much as you would expect. The scars I do have are fading slowly and aren't that noticeable."

Any regrets?

“NONE! I am so pleased and I feel like I have my body back. It was a good thing for me and my self-esteem. And, I guess, my marriage too. I feel sexier now so my husband benefits from that. He'd just better not ever get me pregnant again!"

Would you ever consider a tummy tuck?


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