Total Makeover

Photography by Joe Harrison, JH Photography, Inc.

Years of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding can take their toll on a woman’s body. With a “mommy makeover,” those changes don’t have to be so permanent.

Dr. Allison Lied, a plastic surgeon with Mangat, Holzapfel & Lied Plastic Surgery, says the “mommy makeover,” the common name for a series of procedures focused on body parts most altered by pregnancy, is growing in popularity among women who have moved past child-bearing years.

 “Pregnancy wreaks havoc on bodies, making women who wouldn’t have considered plastic surgery before think about doing something for themselves,” Dr. Lied says. “For so many years, they’ve been pregnant and focused on taking care of their children. Now it’s time for mom to restore herself and put her health first.” 

The makeover focuses mainly on the breasts and stomach, the two areas most affected by pregnancy-related changes. An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a cosmetic surgery that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen and helps tighten and repair muscles stretched and possibly damaged during pregnancy or childbirth. Dr. Lied says women who have had Caesarean sections, for example, often find their skin hangs like a shelf or ledge over their surgical scars even after losing weight. Women who have had multiple pregnancies are also more likely to lose skin and muscle elasticity, making them strong candidates for the procedure.

“You can lose all of your pregnancy weight, exercise and look great in your clothes, but there’s a limit to how much progress you’ll see,” Dr. Lied says. “The muscles and skin just won’t go back to where they were before pregnancy. Women shouldn’t feel bad about that.”

Breast changes take place during pregnancy, and mothers can experience anything from sagging, drooping and involuting after birth and breastfeeding, to noticeably larger breasts that can reach the point of discomfort. Dr. Lied can lift, enhance and provide volume to breasts deflated by pregnancy, or do a reduction to return them to a comfortable size. 

For those who want a less invasive procedure to target small pockets of fat, Dr. Lied recommends CoolSculpting, an outpatient procedure that involves eliminating fat through a freezing process. CoolSculpting isn’t intended for large areas, so the doctor recommends liposuction for women looking to remove more significant amounts of fatty tissue. 

Ideal candidates for a mommy makeover are women who are certain they won’t have more children and have ceased breastfeeding for at least six months.

Post-pregnancy changes are normal, and even the most diligent diet and exercise regimen can only go so far in restoring one’s figure to its pre-baby shape. That’s why Dr. Lied stresses that mothers shouldn’t feel bad about this normal change of life, nor should they feel bad about wanting a change of their own.

Mangat, Holzapfel & Lied Plastic Surgery is located at 8044 Montgomery Road, Suite 230, Cincinnati, OH 45236 (513.984.3223); 133 Barnwood Drive, Edgewood, KY 41017 (859.331.9600); and Vail, Colorado. For more information, visit