Mommy Makeover Recovery Guide

  • The initial recovery from a mommy makeover takes 2–4 weeks, on average
  • Total recovery time depends on how many procedures are involved
  • You may only return to certain activities after 6–8 weeks, and swelling may last for up to 6 months

A mommy makeover is a customized set of surgical procedures designed to help you feel and look your best after bearing children. They most often involve the breasts and abdomen but may also include surgeries on the rest of the body. Because this procedure has so many moving parts, every woman’s mommy makeover recovery looks a little different. 

Here, we’re covering what to expect during the healing process. At Advanced Cosmetic Surgery, our goal is to provide top-notch patient care before, during and after your plastic surgery. For more in-depth answers to all your questions, schedule a consultation at our conveniently located office in Greenville, SC.

Mommy makeover surgeries

Here are the most common procedures that women include in their mommy makeover:

Breast rejuvenation procedures

  • Breast lift (mastopexy): lifts the breasts’ position without changing their size
  • Breast augmentation: involves inserting implants or transferring fat from elsewhere in the body to fill out deflated breasts and restore or increase your former cup size
  • Breast augpexy: a lift combined with augmentation
  • Breast reduction: lifts and reduces the size of heavy, low-hanging breasts

Note: any breast surgery can also involve reduction of the areola, the area of darker skin around the nipple, if desired.

Cosmetic surgeries for the body

  • Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty): removes excess abdominal skin and fat and tightens the abdominal muscles for a flatter, smoother appearance
  • Liposuction: involves suctioning excess fat from the abdomen; often performed with a tummy tuck
  • Belt lipectomy: targets the abdomen, buttocks, thighs and hips
  • Lower body lift: targets the buttocks, flanks, thighs, hips and lower abdomen to smooth the entire lower body; can be combined with a belt lipectomy
  • Labiaplasty: reduces the size of labia enlarged by pregnancy

Best candidates

Good candidates for a mommy makeover procedure are healthy women who are done with having children and wish to restore, or improve upon, their pre-partum appearance. You may have: breasts that appear stretched or deflated after breastfeeding, stretch marks and/or excess skin around the abdomen. 

To be eligible, you must be a nonsmoker or quit smoking for at least 4 weeks before and after surgery; smoking interferes with wound healing and increases your risk of complications. If you’ve had recent weight loss, we recommend waiting until you’ve been at your target weight for at least 4 months before undergoing any body contouring procedure.

How to Prepare for Your Mommy Makeover Recovery

A few lifestyle changes and habits can help shorten your recovery time before surgery even takes place. They include:

  • Taking our recommended daily vitamin supplement
  • Avoiding all blood-thinning medications, including aspirin, and herbal supplements
  • Quitting smoking at least 1 month prior to surgery

Preparing your home environment is a good idea, too. In the first 24 hours after surgery, you’ll need to rest. Depending on your situation, you may want to prepare food in advance, schedule vacation time from work, arrange for childcare, hire pet sitters and clear your schedule of any obligations. Set up a recovery area where you can easily access wound care supplies, extra pillows, snacks, water, reading material or hobbies to work on.

Mommy Makeover Surgery Recovery Timeline

The length of your recovery period depends on which and how many procedures are involved, and the rate at which your body naturally heals itself. 

Immediately after surgery

Within a few minutes of waking up from general anesthesia, you’ll be up and walking, though you’ll likely feel tired and woozy. Your incision sites will be bandaged, and you may have thin tubes placed in them to drain excess fluid and blood.

After being monitored for a few hours, you’ll be sent home with a prescription for pain medication and compression garments to wear at all times. You will need someone else to drive you. 

For a few days afterward, you’ll mostly rest. In most cases, you should lie on your back with your head and chest elevated to prevent fluid buildup. With that said, it’s also important to get up and walk around once an hour to avoid blood clots.

If you’ve had a tummy tuck, you’ll need to remain bent at the waist as much as possible for the next 2 weeks; we recommend sleeping on your side or in a recliner to maintain this position.

1–6 weeks after surgery

After the first week, you can resume some light household duties; however, you cannot lift anything heavier than 5 pounds for at least 6 weeks. Keep the incision sites moist with an occlusive ointment to facilitate healing.

At this point, you’ll have a follow-up appointment with your plastic surgeon to ensure the healing process is going well and remove any drainage tubes. Depending on the procedures involved, you’ll be assigned gentle exercises to increase your range of motion; if you received breast implants, you’ll get instructions on performing self-massage to help them settle in place. Follow all other post-operative care instructions and avoid baths, hot tubs and swimming.

6+ weeks post-surgery

At around 6–8 weeks, you can return to most of your normal activities. Resume your pre-surgery exercise routine slowly.

6 months post-surgery

Minor swelling may last up to 6 months, at this point you’ll be able to see the final results of your makeover. You’ll also be able to buy bras to fit your new cup size. Your scars will have faded from red to pink and flattened out, and any lost nipple sensation should return.

Common Side Effects

Like all plastic surgeries, a mommy makeover is associated with multiple side effects. They include:

  • Bruising for 1–3 weeks
  • Acute swelling and tightness for up to 8 weeks
  • Prolonged minor swelling 
  • Prolonged loss of nipple sensation

When to Contact Your Doctor

Although the vast majority of our patients go through the recovery process with no issues, the possibility of complications after surgery does exist.

The most common is infection, with signs including red streaks, swelling and tenderness at the incision sites. You may also run a fever. Contact us and we can examine the infected area and prescribe you a course of antibiotics.

It’s also not uncommon for partially healed wounds to reopen; should this occur, schedule an appointment so we can resuture the incision.

If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or heart palpitations following surgery, seek medical attention immediately.


Because a mommy makeover is a combination of procedures, it does involve a lengthy recovery time. For a smooth experience, prepare for your surgery by optimizing your body’s health and creating a home environment with everything you need close at hand.

The first 1–4 weeks after surgery require the most rest; afterward, you’ll be able to ease back into your regular routines and activities such as lifting heavy objects, exercising and swimming.

If you’ve completed your family and want to reverse the lingering effects of childbearing on your body, contact us for a consultation at our Greenville, SC location. Our compassionate team of board-certified plastic surgeons can answer all your questions about the mommy makeover.

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