How Long is the Mommy Makeover Recovery Time?

So, you’ve taken the exciting step of scheduling a mommy makeover! This combination of procedures–usually involving breast surgery, a tummy tuck or other body contouring treatments–is designed to help address the effects of pregnancy and breastfeeding on your body and boost your confidence. But between booking the consultation and admiring your final results, there’s the important question of recovery.

This post is your guide to navigating the mommy makeover recovery journey. We’ll break down the timeline, from those initial days of rest to returning to your normal routine. We’ll also address common concerns like pain management and activity restrictions. By understanding what to expect, you can prepare for a smooth and successful recovery, allowing you to focus on embracing your beautiful transformation.

Mommy Makeover 101

A mommy makeover is a combination of cosmetic procedures designed to address changes to a woman’s body after pregnancy or breastfeeding, such as sagging breasts, excess skin on the stomach, stretch marks and changes to the labia. They’re performed at the same time to reduce overall downtime. Learn more!

What Affects Your Mommy Makeover Recovery Time?

No two mommy makeovers are exactly alike, and the same goes for the healing process. Several factors influence how long it takes to get back on your feet:

The most obvious is the type and number of plastic surgery procedures involved. For example, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) that involves repairing separated abdominal muscles will require more healing time than one performed to remove excess skin and stretch marks alone. A breast augmentation, lift, or reduction, each has its own recovery timelines as well. 

Liposuction’s impact also varies depending on the treated areas and the number of incisions made. For instance, liposuction on the abdomen will likely require more restrictions than on the arms.

Everyone heals at their own pace, and your body’s unique response to surgery will influence your recovery. Your pain tolerance will influence how you manage discomfort during the initial recovery period. 

Additionally, your pre-operative health and fitness level play a role. Those who are already active and in good health tend to bounce back quicker. Conversely, if you have any underlying health conditions, it’s crucial to discuss them with your surgeon to understand how they might affect your recovery.

Mommy Makeover Recovery Timeline: A Week-by-Week Guide

While every body heals at its own pace, there is a general timeline to give you an idea of what to expect after a major cosmetic surgery. On average, it takes most mommy makeover patients 4-6 weeks to return to most of their normal activities–but it’s a journey with distinct stages. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what to expect week-by-week during the recovery process:

Week 1:

  • Discomfort and Pain: Expect moderate discomfort, especially in the first few days post-surgery. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to manage this. If you’ve undergone labiaplasty, you’ll likely be instructed to take frequent sitz baths with warm salt water to promote healing and reduce discomfort.
  • Rest and Recuperation: This is prime time for rest and relaxation. Plan for minimal activity – focus on sleeping, light walks and staying hydrated. If you have small children, arrange for childcare during this intensive period.
  • Compression Garments: You’ll likely be sporting compression garments 24/7 for the first week. These can feel tight and uncomfortable, but they’re crucial for reducing swelling and supporting healing. You may also need to perform lymphatic massage on sites of liposuction to reduce swelling.
  • Restrictions: Avoid lifting anything heavy (including your children!), strenuous activity and bending or twisting at the waist.

Week 2:

  • Pain Management: Discomfort should start to subside, but pain medication may still be needed.
  • Increased Activity: Short, gentle walks are encouraged to promote circulation. Light housework is okay, as long as it doesn’t cause strain.
  • Compression Garments: You might be able to wear the garments for shorter periods during the day, but nighttime wear is still essential.
  • Restrictions: Lifting restrictions remain. Avoid strenuous activity, swimming and sexual activity until your doctor clears you.

Weeks 3-4:

  • Energy Levels: You should start to feel more energetic and less restricted.
  • Activity: Gradually increase walking and light activity, but listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself.
  • Compression Garments: Wear time may decrease further, but continued use is important for optimal healing.
  • Restrictions: Lifting restrictions may be relaxed for lighter weights, but consult your doctor first. Strenuous physical activity and swimming are still off-limits.

Weeks 5-6:

  • Returning to Normal: You should be able to resume most of your normal activities, including light exercise routines.
  • Compression Garments: Wear time might be minimal or discontinued altogether, depending on your doctor’s recommendations.
  • Restrictions: Lifting restrictions may be lifted for most weights, but heavy lifting should still be avoided. Clearance for strenuous exercise and sexual activity should be obtained from your doctor.

Beyond Week 6:

  • Healing Progress: Your body continues to heal internally, and swelling will gradually diminish. You’ll start seeing the final results of your surgery emerge.
  • Activity: You can gradually increase your exercise intensity, but avoid anything too strenuous for several more months.
  • Restrictions: Most restrictions should be lifted by now, but be mindful of your body and listen for any pain signals.

Final Results

While you’ll be able to appreciate the initial improvements after a few weeks, keep in mind that the final results of your mommy makeover procedure will continue to evolve for several months to a year. Here’s what to expect:

  • Breast Implants: If breast augmentation is part of your mommy makeover, it can take several months for the implants to settle into their final position. Similarly, the full results of a breast reduction or breast lift can take several months to be fully evident. You may also experience temporary changes in nipple sensation.
  • Scarring: Scars will initially be red and raised, but they will gradually fade and flatten over time. Scar management techniques, such as silicone gel sheets, can be used to minimize their appearance. Be patient – significant improvement in scarring can take up to a year.
  • Overall Refinement: As swelling subsides and your body adjusts, the final contours of your new figure will become more evident.

By understanding the recovery timeline and these long-term changes, you can set realistic expectations and enjoy the journey of transformation that a mommy makeover offers.

Dr. McFadden’s Tips for a Smooth Recovery

While your body does the heavy lifting of healing, there are steps you can take to optimize your recovery journey:

1. Choose a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon 

This is paramount. A board-certified surgeon has the experience and qualifications to perform your mommy makeover safely and effectively. Their expertise can significantly impact your recovery experience.

2. Maintain a Healthy Diet and Exercise

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle before and after surgery is crucial. Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients will provide your body with the building blocks it needs to heal. While exercise will be limited initially, gradually incorporating light activity as your doctor allows can improve circulation and promote healing.

3. Prioritize Follow-Up Appointments

Don’t skip your follow-up appointments! These are essential for your surgeon to monitor your progress, address any side effects or concerns you may have and ensure you’re healing properly.


Recovering from mommy makeover surgery requires patience and dedication, but the rewards are significant. By following your doctor’s recovery plan meticulously, prioritizing rest and attending all follow-up appointments, you’ll be well on your way to optimal healing and a renewed sense of confidence.

Remember, a mommy makeover is an investment in yourself. It’s a chance to achieve a body you feel comfortable and confident in, and to embrace a new chapter with renewed self-esteem. While the recovery process takes time, the long-lasting results and the boost to your confidence are well worth the wait. So, take a deep breath, celebrate your decision to prioritize yourself, and get ready to enjoy the journey of rejuvenation!

Want to experience the best South Carolina has to offer in professionalism, patient care and exceptional results? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Thomas McFadden at Advanced Cosmetic Surgery. Whether you’re looking for cosmetic surgery or non-invasive treatments like fillers and Botox, he can develop a treatment plan to help you feel and look your best.

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