As a parent, we know it can be difficult to plan a major surgery and raise your children at the same time. Perhaps you’re thinking about a Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty), Breast Lift, Breast Reduction or Breast Augmentation, or you’ve already decided to have one. Great! Now is the time to put yourself first, but how do you do that with family responsibilities? Read on for all of our best tips to ensure your recovery is smooth sailing.
Firstly, how soon can I have surgery after a baby?
For breast surgery, we generally recommend waiting 3 months after you finish breastfeeding before coming to see us. This gives your breasts enough time to completely empty and stabilise. For tummy tucks, we like to see patients 6 months after pregnancy once they have hit a stable goal weight. We have a dedicated article written by Dr Moncrieff that addresses this question! You can find it here.
Will I need help with my children during my recovery?
Yes, especially during your initial recovery stage. For the first two weeks following your surgery, your main duty should be to relax and focus on you. Having a supportive network around you, and people you can depend on to help look after your children will make your recovery process a whole lot easier. There is no shame in asking grandparents, friends and family for additional support during your recovery period.
Many of our patients with young children have reported that their recovery was much easier with their children staying elsewhere for the first few weeks after surgery. Even with additional help, many women find it almost impossible to be able to switch off from “mum mode” and focus solely on their recovery while the little ones are at home. Where possible, it is definitely worth considering recuperating at a different residence to your children after your surgery.
How can I prepare my family for my surgery?
The best thing you can do to ensure your recovery is smooth sailing is to plan ahead. Knowing what to expect in your post-op period is key to preparing your family for some different arrangements. Here are our most commonly asked questions:
What do I need to organise for the day of my surgery?
You will need to organise a support person to drive you to the hospital for your surgery and pick you up when you are discharged. This means you will also need someone to look after your kids during your procedure, as well as someone to care for you when you come home. You should have someone stay with you for at least 48 hours after your surgery.
Can I pick up my children?
You will not be able to pick up you children, or anything over 5kg, for 2 weeks following your procedure. This is very important as lifting heavy objects can put stress on your incisions before they’ve had the chance to heal, potentially causing complications and delaying your recovery process.
In the weeks that follow our nurse will guide you on resuming activity based on your procedure and progress, but assume you won’t be able to pick up a child for at least 6 weeks and if you are cleared sooner, it is a bonus.
Can I drive?
You cannot drive for at least 1 week following a breast procedure, or up to 2 weeks for bigger procedures such as a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) or body lift. This means you may need a support person to drive you to your first post-operative appointment, and you will need to arrange someone else to help with school pick-up/drop-off if you have school or childcare aged children.
When can I return to work?
Breast surgery requires 7 days off work before you can return to light office duties. Tummy tucks, combined procedures and body lifts will require a minimum of 2-3 weeks off. You should wait 6 weeks after any surgery before attempting more intense duties.
We understand that many people cannot rely on friends and family for an extended amount of time during their recovery period. Many of our patients have opted to outsource this help, with surgery concierge services such as Relax & Recover, babysitting services such as Rock my Baby, housekeeping services such as Absolute Domestics and food delivery services such as Lite n Easy, Hello Fresh and Marley Spoon. Although we are not affiliated with any of these companies, we have tried and tested all of the above and are happy to suggest you check them out.
Relax & Recover
To make your recovery process a little easier, you may be interested in checking out Relax & Recover services. Relax & Recover is a business specialising in helping women recover from surgery. Not only do they provide luxurious surgery recovery packs, but they also offer surgery concierge and nursing assistance services – which may be perfect for those juggling surgery and family.
The team at Relax and Recover can help you get home (or to your hotel) after surgery and even have a nurse stay overnight if you need it. They offer a range of packages, but to give you an idea, a 3 hour hospital discharge service to get you settled back in bed, arrange your medications and food is around $325. You can request a quote by emailing them your surgical dates, hospital and where you will be staying at [email protected]
Rock my Baby
For extra help looking after your little ones, babysitting and nanny services such as Rock my Baby can help take the pressure of you and your loved ones.
One area of help that many of our patients forget to consider is household and cleaning duties. While you’re recovering from your procedure there will be many chores that you won’t be able to manage, such as hanging out washing, vacuuming or cleaning the bathroom. Housekeeping companies such as Absolute Domestics offer reasonably priced domestic cleaning services, alleviating the stress of trying to keep the house tidy and recover from surgery all at once!
Food delivery services
Many of our patients also report that having food delivered can make things a lot easier in the first few weeks after surgery and ensure they still get balanced meals. Patients have used services like Lite n Easy (full meal plans or ability to just order certain meals of the day), Hello Fresh (dinners you still need to cook) and Marley Spoon (again, dinners you cook).
For more information or to book a consultation
Need more information about recovering from plastic surgery as a mum? Give us a call! Many of our team members have first-hand experience undergoing plastic surgery with little ones at home and are more than happy to share their experiences with you. To contact our team or to make an appointment for a consultation, please call 4920 7700 or send us a message via the form below.
Jessica Laing, Practice Manager, Hunter Plastic Surgery
Jessica joined the Hunter Plastic Surgery team in 2010 after being a patient of Dr Moncrieff’s. She has worked very closely with him since then and supports our patients throughout their surgical journey.
She has even won awards for her focus on service including as the Australasian Practice Manager of the Year at the 2019 MyFaceMyBody Global Awards and at the 2017 Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards.