Throughout pregnancy, your body changes immensely as it works non-stop to create a thriving, healthy life. After the birth, however, many women find they are surprised and frustrated at how difficult it is to return to their pre-pregnancy body. While there are many ways that your body changes during the 9 months of pregnancy, weight gain can be one of the most difficult to rebound from. We strongly encourage you to be patient and kind to yourself after your baby is born. It is unreasonable to expect that 9 months of changes are going to be fully reversed in 2 months. However, if you find that as time goes by you are struggling to lose weight you gained during pregnancy, there are treatments for you. When women ask us about their options for losing baby weight, here are the ones we consider most often:
Weight Loss Balloon
One option for losing weight after a baby is a non-surgical bariatric procedure called a gastric balloon, or weight loss balloon. The gastric balloon helps people by amplifying their dietary and lifestyle changes, allowing for significantly more successful weight loss than diet and exercise alone. The balloon is a soft, flexible, temporary device that gets placed in your stomach. Depending on which type of balloon you use, it will be filled with either liquid or gas. The weight loss benefit of the balloon is that it takes up significant space in your stomach. For the majority of people, this helps them eat much smaller portions, and stay full longer between meals. By reducing your portion size and learning healthy eating and lifestyle habits, you can consider the balloon a good option for losing baby weight. The balloon is a temporary device that is removed after 6 months. In terms of losing weight after a baby, the balloon is best for overall weight loss, like what you would achieve after a very successful diet.
Liposuction is different from the balloon in that lipo removes specific areas of stubborn fat, but is not used for overall weight loss after a baby. A bariatric procedure for losing baby weight, like the balloon, is best if you want overall weight loss - but liposuction can be best for targeting individual pockets of fat. During liposuction, our surgeon first uses ultrasound waves to gently loosen the fat you want to remove. Then a thin tube called a microcannula is inserted through a very small incision. We gently suck the fat out through the tube, slimming the area and creating flattering contours along the way. Liposuction is particularly good for getting rid of excess fat in areas like the abdomen, back, hips, buttocks, thighs, or upper arms.
If your primary complaint after having a baby is that you have excess loose skin, a tummy tuck may be your best option. During a tummy tuck, we make an incision across the lower tummy area, remove skin, pull the remaining skin tight, and then close the incision. This procedure can also be combined with liposuction to remove both fat and excess skin. A common problem after having a baby is diastasis recti: a condition where a woman’s ab muscles separate. When performing a tummy tuck, we can fix this issue by bringing the abdominal muscles back together. Diastasis recti can allow your tummy area to bulge out, potentially making it appear that you have lost less baby weight than you have. A tummy tuck can give a more slim, toned look to your core area.
A body lift is a procedure that is often done after significant weight loss. Women who are pregnant, and then lose weight, may find that a body lift is the best option for giving them back the pre-pregnancy body they had. A body lift is different from a tummy tuck because it also may treat areas like the buttocks and thighs. While we often think of the mid-section as the part of the body that is most affected by weight gain during pregnancy, it is very common to also gain a substantial amount of weight in the hips, buttocks, and thighs also. While a body lift is not the best option for overall weight loss after having a baby, it can be an excellent contouring option after most of your baby weight has been lost.
A great weight loss after baby option, that also enhances your breasts and other areas, is called a Mommy Makeover. This is not a single treatment, but a customized group of surgical procedures that allows you to reach your post-baby body goals. These combinations of procedures are designed specifically to help women get their bodies back after pregnancy. Often times a mommy makeover includes a breast lift, sometimes in conjunction with either a breast reduction or breast augmentation. A mommy makeover can also target excess fat after pregnancy with liposuction, and excess skin with a tummy tuck.
What option is best for overall weight loss after pregnancy?
If you are looking to for an option to lose baby weight overall, the gastric balloon is a good choice. This option allows you to succeed with diet and exercise, which helps you feel full after eating much smaller portions.
What treatment is best if I want to target excess skin after giving birth?
For women who find they have lost most of the fat they want to, but are burdened with excess skin after having a baby, a tummy tuck is generally the best option. We can also combine a tummy tuck with liposuction to target both fat and loose skin.
How can I best get rid of specific areas of fat after having a baby?
When the primary concern with losing baby weight is a specific area of fat - like the hips or lower abdomen - liposuction is a good treatment option. During lipo, our surgeon gently removes fat in a way that creates a lean, contoured silhouette.
What option is best if I want to remove fat, but also reverse sagging in my breasts?
If you are looking for changes that include fat reduction, tightening of your skin, and lifting your breasts, then a mommy makeover may be perfect for you. A mommy makeover is highly customizable.
If you have had a baby and are trying to figure out the best options for losing weight, set up a consultation with our experienced surgeons. We can help you understand exactly what our treatments can accomplish, and how these procedures can get you towards your goal.