When you’ve never had any kind of cosmetic plastic surgery, it’s natural to wonder what would make a woman want to put herself through a “mommy makeover”? After all, it’s an extensive surgery with a fairly uncomfortable recovery, at least in the days immediately following the surgery.
There’s no blanket answer, of course. We’re all motivated by different things at different points in our lives. Courtney, a 35-year-old fitness coach, is someone who never considered a mommy makeover—until, after two kids, she found herself consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
During her first pregnancy, in 2016, she gained 75 pounds and lost 50 after giving birth. When Courtney got pregnant again a year later, she gained another 75 pounds. “I thought I’d gain a normal amount, like 20 or 30 pounds. I definitely wasn’t expecting it, but I couldn’t help it,” she writes in a recent essay for RealSelf, an online community for learning and sharing information about cosmetic surgery. “So I weighed about 235 pounds when I delivered my second kid via C-section—and that’s when I really knew I had to do something. I had all these stretch marks and was feeling like a stranger in my own body.”
Two months after the birth of her second child, Courtney, who admits she had never worked out a day in her life, began following a nutrition and exercise plan. After only a few weeks, she noticed an appreciable difference in how she looked and felt. Ultimately, she lost 100 pounds in six months—and gained a new passion in the process. By becoming a personal trainer, Courtney was able to keep flexible hours and spend more time with her two kids. It was also a means, she says, to continue to hold herself accountable.
Thrilled as she was with her weight-loss and fresh outlook, her body was still a major source of concern for her.
“I remember when I first met with my plastic surgeon after deciding on the mommy makeover. He asked what bothered me most. I just sat down and showed him my stomach, and he was like, ‘Ohh … ,’” Courtney writes. “My skin looked melted. After losing 100 pounds and becoming the strongest I’d ever been physically, it was so defeating to put on a bathing suit and have all this sagging skin. All I wanted was to feel pride in my strength and how far I’d come.
“That’s why I eventually decided to get the mommy makeover,” she says. “I think a lot of women are really scared to have a tummy tuck, but since I’d had two C-sections and the second was a pretty rough recovery, I thought, Well, it can’t get much worse than that.”
Courtney underwent a tummy tuck and breast augmentation last November, documenting her journey along the way on Instagram. “So many women reached out, saying [that a mommy makeover] is a dream for them and their motivation to keep losing weight and trying to hit their goals,” Courtney writes. “I know what it’s like to be the woman who is so uncomfortable in her skin she can’t even look in the mirror, and she’s who I speak for every day.”
Courtney says the key for her was having a determined mindset heading into her surgery. “If you’re having emotional issues, take your time and think about it,” she writes.
Four months after her mommy makeover, Courtney says she’s “so happy with my results” and that she “would absolutely recommend it to anyone with loose skin who has worked their ass off to get where they are.”