How Pregnancy and Nursing Affect a Woman’s Body

As a female plastic surgeon in Pittsburgh, Dr. Anna Wooten is committed to helping mothers restore their bodies and self-confidence after pregnancy and nursing. She understands the toll that these experiences can take on a woman’s body, and she offers a variety of procedures to reverse those changes.

If you are bothered by the ways that pregnancy and nursing have affected your body, read on as Dr. Wooten explains how she can help.

The Abdomen

During pregnancy, the abdominal skin expands and the muscles stretch to accommodate a growing baby. Sometimes the muscles can actually separate. Not only is the expanding uterus pressing against the abdominal wall, but pregnancy hormones cause the tissue to relax.

After delivering the baby, neither diet nor exercise usually help the skin contract or the muscles tighten. The tissues can get so stretched out during pregnancy that they lose their elastic quality.

Only tummy tuck surgery can repair stretched-out abdominal skin and restore muscle tone. The procedure involves removing loose folds of skin from the lower abdomen and re-draping the skin more tightly over the abdomen. Tummy tuck also repairs damaged or separated abdominal muscles, which narrows the waistline. Liposuction techniques can be added if needed for additional sculpting.

The Breasts

The breasts usually start to grow around the sixth to eighth week of pregnancy, as they gear up to produce enough milk for a newborn. The body’s hormones stimulate the breasts’ milk glands and milk ducts, causing the breasts to increase as much as one to two cup sizes.

After pregnancy and nursing, the breasts may go back to their pre-pregnancy size (or not) but the stretched-out skin may not be able to contract over the smaller breast size. The result is loose, saggy skin and breasts that look flat or “deflated.”

A breast lift perks up flat or saggy breasts by removing excess skin, tightening the remaining skin and repositioning the breast tissue higher on the chest. Saline or silicone implants can also be placed to restore any loss of fullness or shape.

The Body

Other areas of the body, such as the hips and thighs, may become fuller during pregnancy but not slim down with exercise after pregnancy. Liposuction can be performed on these areas to sculpt them to their pre-baby contour.

Learn More about Your Options

If you want to restore your pre-baby body and confidence, Dr. Wooten can help. Based on an examination of your body, she may recommend breast surgery or tummy tuck. Another possible option is to combine corrective breast surgery with a tummy tuck and possible liposuction into a comprehensive treatment known as mommy makeover.

For more information about reversing the signs of pregnancy and nursing with a mommy makeover, please call or email Beleza Plastic Surgery and request your personal consultation with Dr. Wooten.

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