Women who have been pregnant know firsthand the changes that pregnancy and childbearing can have on the body. Unfortunately, those changes come with a lot of uncertainty: Some bodies go back to their pre-pregnancy shape and proportions, while some … don’t. For women whose bodies fall into the second category, there is the option of tummy tuck after pregnancy. Nashville-area moms who want a slimmer physique can choose from several elements to customize their procedure to fit their specific needs:

Address Loose Skin

Abdominoplasty surgery removes the excess skin that was stretched out by a growing baby. Think of the belly like a balloon, and the baby like the expanding air that fills it. Once the air comes out, the balloon deflates, but can remain baggy and loose. Balloons don’t have much of an option at that point, but women with this problem can have their redundant tissue removed. The remaining skin is sutured in place, giving the abdomen a flatter look. Once the skin has essentially lost its “spandex,” a tummy tuck is the only option to remove the loose, extra skin.

Remove Fatty Deposits

Weight gain is very common during pregnancy, but so is keeping that weight—or at least some of it—long after the baby is born. Even strict diets and daily exercise routines may not be able to make a difference in specific areas. While tummy tuck surgery is not a weight-loss procedure, it can include liposuction, which is quite effective at getting rid of localized and stubborn fatty deposits that can cause abdominal bulges.

Restore Abdominal Muscles

Certain muscles in the abdomen form a sort of “wall” (these are known as the six-pack muscles) with a distinct right and left side, which a growing baby can push against and separate. A wall with a weak middle can no longer properly hold back what’s behind it, so once the baby is gone, you may notice a lingering bulge. This is called midline muscle separation, or rectus diastasis. Abdominoplasty surgery repairs this wall, and this separation, creating a firmer barrier and flatter belly.

Reposition the Navel

In most cases, repositioning and removing skin will require the movement of the belly button into an anatomically correct position.

Because every baby causes changes to the body, women who plan to have more children should wait until they are done before getting a tummy tuck. A new pregnancy can undo the effects of abdominoplasty surgery, causing tissues to stretch out again and new bulges to develop.

Contact Nashville Plastic Surgery Institute for more information about tummy tuck surgery, as well as how it can be part of a larger Mommy Makeover package. Call 615-932-7700 or send a message online.