Plastic surgery is becoming more popular among Americans, with about a 5 percent increase in cosmetic procedures per year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ 2011 report. Patients had over one and a half million surgical procedures and over 13 million total cosmetic procedures. An increasing number of these are performed on new mothers, who think that surgery is the only way to return to their pre-pregnancy bodies.
A growing number of mothers are choosing so-called “mommy makeovers,” including tummy tucks, breast augmentation and lifts, buttock lifts and even cosmetic genital surgeries. All these procedures are costly, since insurance companies don’t cover them, and come with pain and the risk of significant complications.
Here are some cheaper, less invasive ways to remake a post-pregnancy body:
Correct Clothing Fit
Moms may fit into their old clothes but find that they don’t look as good in them. Instead of changing the body to fit the clothes, many people can benefit from taking their old wardrobe to an alterations shop for relatively low-cost re-fitting.
One of the fastest ways for a mother to feel better about herself is by wearing the right bras and other undergarments. It’s tempting to go back to pre-pregnancy clothes, but most of the time, they don’t fit correctly, even if they fasten. A majority of women wear a bra that’s too loose in the back and too tight in the cup, producing a flattened, saggy look that can easily be corrected by an inexpensive shopping trip.
A lot of new mothers go on crash diets to lose their “baby weight,” but few actually stop and change their eating habits carefully. Monitoring food intake, eating regular meals and choosing a nutritious diet without too many processed foods can take that weight off more effectively. Unlike crash dieting, it won’t sap new moms’ energy levels or eat away at muscle tissue. This would prevent us from having surgeries such as laser liposuction.
A baby can keep parents very busy, but most of that activity won’t shape the body. Mothers should choose regular, moderate exercise to keep their metabolisms high and reduce extra fat accumulation. Strength training can be a big help, too; by filling skin stretched by pregnancy with muscle, mothers can reduce sagging and flabbiness. There’s no need to worry about bulking up – in most women, that won’t happen without a lot of work or steroids.
Improved Skin Care
It’s easy to let personal care go when there’s a baby in the house, leaving women feeling unattractive and tired. Instead of cosmetic procedures, many women can benefit from an improved skin care program, including moisturizers, gentle cleansers and UV-protective cosmetics.
Read “New Baby, New Body? The ‘Mommy Makeover’ Trend” on ABC.com to get more tips.
This post was written by Nina Bernice, mother of Liam who just turned one. You can find Nina on twitter at @topgirl_nina.
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