If you’re interested in undergoing a tummy tuck, but find yourself wondering about pregnancy after a tummy tuck and whether it’s possible, learn more here!
May 5, 2021
5 min read
For many women, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise or how many calories you cut. Unfortunately, loose skin and stubborn belly fat can remain even after hitting (and maintaining) your goal weight.
When you also add in body changes from pregnancy, it’s no wonder that tummy tucks are one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the US. In fact, almost 130,000 tummy tucks were performed in 2017!
But you may be wondering, “Can I have a baby after a tummy tuck?” If so, you’re not alone. Pregnancy after a tummy tuck is one of the most asked questions during consultations.
If you’ve been considering a tummy tuck at some point, but are wondering what that may mean for your future family plans, be sure to read on for more information.
What Is a Tummy Tuck?
More officially known as abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is an invasive surgery that requires general anesthesia. During the procedure, your board-certified plastic surgeon will remove any excess skin and tighten the abdominal muscles.
The effect is a tighter midsection and flat abs, especially if combined with liposuction to remove stubborn fat. Scars are usually minimal and hidden below the bikini line.
Once the surgery is over, you’ll need to have a caregiver to drive you home and help you for the first few days into recovery. You’ll need to plan about two weeks of downtime, but then it will take another four to six months for your muscles to fully heal. You’ll need to take that into account for your future plans.
There are even different types of tummy tucks: full, mini, or extended. Consider your specific body type and desired result before making any decisions. That way, you can get the best possible results.
Mini Tummy Tuck
The least complex abdominoplasty is the mini tummy tuck. This procedure specifically targets the area below the belly button. If you have a small pocket of stubborn fat or loose skin and need minor adjustments, this may be the best option for you.
Because this type of procedure is less extensive, the recovery time is usually shorter as a result. Surgeons don’t need to reposition the patient’s belly button, either.
Full Tummy Tuck
A full tummy tuck, sometimes also known as a standard tummy tuck, is designed to target the muscles and loose skin both above and below your belly button.
Surgeons will tighten your abdominal muscles and pull the skin down, removing any excess. In this procedure, the surgeon will also have to reposition your belly button.
Extended Tummy Tuck
This procedure builds on a full tummy tuck, but it extends into your sides as well. This surgery is often combined with liposuction to remove extra fat first.
This type of surgery addresses more areas and usually involves the removal of more tissue. Your belly button needs to be repositioned as well before you’re sewn back up and sent to the recovery room.
Why Get a Tummy Tuck?
The motivation to get an abdominoplasty is as varied as the men and women who get them. However, there are a few common reasons we see:
If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight, you may have loose skin, keeping you from looking as good as you feel. If so, a tummy tuck can help you achieve the body you’ve been working so hard to get.
In order to be a strong candidate for a tummy tuck after weight loss, you should be within 10 pounds of your goal weight and have maintained it for at least six months. Weight fluctuation can impact the effectiveness of the procedure.
Becoming pregnant, giving birth, and nursing can all have a major impact on your body. For many women, it’s difficult to bounce back to their pre-baby bodies. A tummy tuck, or even a mommy makeover, can help you feel confident again.
This occurs when your midline abdominal muscles partially or even completely separate. While common after pregnancy, it can happen to both men and women at any time and for a variety of reasons.
Sometimes, corrective surgery is needed in order to address this issue.
When’s the Best Time to Get a Tummy Tuck?
To achieve the most lasting results, the best time to get a tummy tuck is once you’re done having children. This ensures that your results are less likely to be impacted by pregnancy.
It also is major surgery. You’ll need to be careful about getting pregnant for at least a year after your abdominoplasty to allow your body to heal and accommodate more changes.
Another benefit to waiting until your childbearing years are behind you is the ability to combine a tummy tuck with other procedures. It’s not uncommon to have a tubal ligation done at the same time to prevent future pregnancies. Other moms have Caesarean section scars or stretch marks taken care of during a tummy tuck.
If you had a C-section and are choosing to get a tummy tuck after the fact, most surgeons will use that same location for your abdominoplasty incision. Not only does this reduce scarring, but can also be a reason to ask the surgeon to clean up any scar tissue or issues at the same time.
Pregnancy After a Tummy Tuck
Obviously, life is full of unknowns and uncertainty. You may find yourself with an unexpected pregnancy or end up changing your mind about your family plans. Perhaps you know that you want to have kids but in the distant future.
Should you sacrifice your immediate body goals for something that’s years away? Remember that your muscles and skin are designed to stretch to accommodate a growing baby. Even with tighter skin and muscles following a tummy tuck, your baby and you will be able to grow throughout your pregnancy.
Getting a tummy tuck has no impact on your fertility. Getting pregnant after a tummy tuck is not easier nor harder than before.
One of the biggest drawbacks to pregnancy after a full tummy tuck is that you may find that you need a follow-up procedure to return your midsection to what it looked like before pregnancy. But other patients do not find this to be the case at all.
You’ll also need to be mindful of any weight gain as well. Make sure to keep exercising, eating well, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to ensure that your results last for many years to come.
Pregnancy Risks After a Tummy Tuck
You may still be wondering, “Is pregnancy after a tummy tuck safe?” The most important item to know is that getting pregnant after a tummy tuck poses no inherent risks to either you or the baby.
Although all pregnancies can come with their own risks or complications, it’s possible to have a healthy and safe pregnancy regardless of a previous surgical procedure. You may show later or have a tighter feeling, though.
It is important that you allow your body to completely heal following a tummy tuck. Your body goes through a lot during surgery, so rushing into it can have unintended consequences. Give yourself a minimum of a year to allow your body to completely recover, if not longer.
Combining Delivery and Tummy Tuck
You may have heard mention of the possibility of combining your delivery (whether vaginal or by c-section) with a tummy tuck. But this is generally not recommended.
There are a few reasons for this. First, your body goes through an incredible amount of work to grow and deliver a baby. Regardless of how your baby comes into the world, your body needs time to rest and recover. It is generally not recommended to get a tummy tuck until at least a year after you’ve given birth.
The second reason is that breastfeeding can often help your body bounce back. The body you have in the days and weeks after delivery is not the same body you will have when you’re celebrating your little one’s first birthday. Allow your body to settle into a new “normal” before making any plans for major surgery.
Ready for Flat Abs?
In general, pregnancy after a tummy tuck is healthy and low risk. Should you become pregnant after an abdominoplasty, we can help guide you through any questions you have about how your tummy tuck may impact your pregnancy.
If you’re ready to finally tighten up your midsection or other areas, learn more about the different procedures we offer at our clinic. We can set up a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to see how we can help you achieve the body you’ve always wanted.