A lot of concerns will flash across our minds when we think about getting pregnant, particularly if we find out we already are pregnant with a little surprise.
One thing which may not spring to mind for everyone, but is guaranteed to be on your mind if this applies to you is how the pregnancy is affected by a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck can do wonders for a woman’s confidence following putting her body through a drastic and often difficult weight change.
This is a normal and common procedure that many women opt to have to restore their bodies to appearance, size and shape after giving birth or dramatic weight loss, but will it have an effect on her growing baby?
But what if months or years down the track you wanted to get pregnant after your tummy tuck, whether it’s for the first time or a subsequent pregnancy? What if you became pregnant by accident? What will happen to your body at this time? What will happen to your baby?
As we mentioned already, this is a very common surgical procedure, during which your surgeon will work to improve the appearance of the anterior abdominal wall. Through this procedure excess skin and fat is removed and then linea alba is strengthened.
It is commonly undertaken to repair the look of a woman’s belly and abdomen after giving birth, after drastic weight loss or for other health reasons including when the abdominal muscles separate.
Following a tummy tuck, a lot of mothers feel a bit uncomfortable as their womb stretches with their baby’s growth. This will depend on how tight your abdominal muscles are when you become pregnant.
You will feel tightening or pulling sensations as your tummy grows, but a great many mothers who haven’t had a tummy tuck will also feel that.
During every pregnancy, the skin of the anterior abdominal wall gradually stretches in all directions, making room for all of your internal organs and reducing the severity of stretch marks.
After a tummy tuck, you have less skin on your abdominal wall meaning that you may have an increased chance of stretch marks. The scar from your tummy tuck surgery may also be affected and can move or change.
Your internal organs may be under a little more stress because of the reduced give of the abdominal wall causing things such as heartburn, increased need to pee and greater chance of accidental peeing, and increased constipation.
This shouldn’t put your baby in any danger or discomfort. Your stomach may not pop out as much as you were expecting, but again your baby will still have all the room he needs to stretch and grow and kick you a lot.
The vast majority of tummy tucks should still hold their shape and loveliness after the baby has been born and the mother loses the baby weight again. It is rare that touch-up surgery will be needed but it is possible. It can depend on a number of factors:
It is always advised that you watch your weight gain when you are pregnant anyway, but this is more important if you want to perfectly preserve your tummy tuck after pregnancy. For any pregnancy, it is not recommended that you gain more than 25-35 lbs (11-16 kg).
When you realize that you are expecting, you should talk to your plastic surgeon and your obstetrician to work out if there’s anything you need to be concerned about or pay attention to during the pregnancy.
If you are thinking of becoming pregnant at some stage down the track, make sure you talk to your plastic surgeon about this when planning your tummy tuck procedure.
She can take this into consideration when undertaking muscle repair, and make allowances for your body to stretch to accommodate a growing baby should it need to.
Amy Duncan is the founder of KindMommy, a blog where she's providing helpful information about pregnancy and many useful tips for young parents. Besides writing, Amy loves to cook and travel with her friends and family. You can also find Amy on Twitter (@AmyKindmommy).