A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that can slim the abdominal area by removing excess skin to give a more tight silhouette. This is a common procedure after extensive weight loss, having children, or for people who feel as though diet and exercise are not toning their midsection the way they would like. Because of the tightening involved, it is fair that one of our frequently asked questions is: can you get pregnant after a tummy tuck? Let’s look at the answer to that question:
Body Changes During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body will undergo many natural changes from increased breast size to surges of hormone production, and of course the telltale baby bump. The uterus grows to many times its size during pregnancy and by week 40 is the size of a watermelon, according to the American Pregnancy Association. The importance of your growing uterus, in the discussion of getting pregnant after a tummy tuck, is that the uterus is responsible for stretching the skin of the tummy so it has a place to expand. While you may worry that a tummy tuck could prevent your uterus from growing enough during pregnancy, rest assured that your tummy can still expand as much as needed after this procedure. Many women have gotten pregnant after a tummy tuck, and have no problems because of the surgery. A tummy tuck has no effect on your fertility or your ability to carry a healthy baby.
Pregnancy and the Results of a Tummy Tuck
You may have been told that it’s best not to get a tummy tuck before getting pregnant, and there is good rationale for this advice. While we’ve covered that the answer to “Can you get pregnant after a tummy tuck?” is YES, it is important to understand that your aesthetic results will be affected.
Your growing uterus will stretch the skin on your tummy during pregnancy, regardless of whether you’ve had a tummy tuck. Once you deliver the baby and your uterus shrinks back to its pre-pregnancy size, you will likely find that you have excess or loose skin where your baby bump once was. Some people find that their skin shrinks back quite a bit after pregnancy, and others do not. The amount of excess, loose skin you have after a pregnancy often depends on these factors:
- Your skin’s elasticity
- Your genetics
- Your age
- How many times you’ve been pregnant
- How much weight you gained during your pregnancy
- How quickly you gained weight during your pregnancy
Having a previous tummy tuck cannot prevent you from having loose skin after a subsequent pregnancy. It is normal to find that the results of a tummy tuck are ‘undone’ by your pregnancy. This is the reason we often recommend: if you’re planning a pregnancy in the near future, it makes sense to wait until you are past that point before having a tummy tuck. The pregnancy will change the results of your tummy tuck. However, a tummy tuck in no way prevents or impedes a pregnancy.
If you have more questions about tummy tucks, please contact us. Our supportive team would be happy to help.