Body After Baby

Welcoming a new baby into the family is often one of the happiest times of a woman’s life.

Whether the firstborn or a welcome addition to a growing family, motherhood promises a lifetime of new experiences and much joy.

What many moms do not expect, however, are the associated post-pregnancy body changes. Even with preparation, it may come as a surprise. Breasts commonly lose some of their elasticity during pregnancy and can appear “deflated” following breastfeeding. Tummies are not as tight as they used to be. And sleepless nights can accelerate the natural aging process, perhaps leading to uneven weight gain.

Given these dramatic changes, it’s no surprise that some women begin to wonder what happened to the body they knew and loved. “Post-pregnancy, many women report feeling they don’t recognize their bodies,” says Dr. Thomas Bartell, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon practicing in Madison, Wis. “The good news is that there are so many options to recapture that pre-pregnancy body. Today’s procedures as less invasive and more effective than ever before.”

A specialist in below-the-neck cosmetic procedures, Dr. Bartell says the most common post-pregnancy procedures include breast lifts and augmentations, tummy tucks and liposuction.

A breast lift, or mastopexy, removes excess skin and tightens tissues to raise and firm the breasts. To complement the lift, some new moms opt for a simultaneous breast augmentation to restore volume that has been lost following breastfeeding. Dr. Bartell specializes in scarless augmentations, an option no more complex than a traditional augmentation but often vastly preferred to traditional surgical methods.

A scarless procedure

“The primary difference between scarless and traditional breast augmentation is the incision site. With scarless breast augmentation, we make a tiny incision in the armpit rather than a larger incision underneath the breasts or in the nipple or naval areas. The procedure and recovery periods are similar, but this technique avoids any scarring on the breasts themselves, which is a big plus for many patients.”

For more information about post-pregnancy cosmetic surgery and how to find a qualified surgeon, visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) web site at

Thomas Bartell, MD, is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon practicing in Madison, Wis. To learn more about Dr. Bartell or schedule a personal consultation, visit or phone (608) 271-0500.