Many of life’s changes lead us through a journey of rediscovery, but perhaps none quite as profound as the birth of a child.

A woman’s body goes through many changes during and after pregnancy. Mothers might find that even with dedicated diet and exercise, some areas of the body just won’t respond.

Stubborn areas around the breasts, tummy or hips can remain unchanged no matter how hard you work on them.

As a female plastic surgeon, I understand these struggles, and I feel it’s important to offer solutions.

We’ve all heard of the “mommy makeover” because it’s one of the most popular and gratifying procedures a plastic surgeon can offer. It’s often a single-session surgery that might include a tummy tuck, liposuction and breast enhancement.

Mommy makeovers should, however, be customized to fit the needs of each individual patient and first require a candid conversation with the plastic surgeon about results and expectations. Your surgeon will then devise a dedicated plan to help you meet your specific goals.

A tummy tuck involves tightening the core abdominal muscles and removing excess skin and fat. The results of a tummy tuck can be very empowering for those moms left with extra belly skin and a loose abdominal wall following pregnancy.

Liposuction is often used to complement the results of a tummy tuck and enhance your final outcome.

Breast enhancement can address unflattering postpartum changes in the breasts. Some women can benefit from a breast lift, while others opt for breast implants to provide volume where it has been lost.

Still, some women really need a combination of procedures to help address both volume loss and sagging. New moms might also notice that the areola (dark part around the nipple) has become larger after pregnancy, but this can be made smaller during surgery.

The recovery time for a mommy makeover varies according to which procedures you choose, but you will have a window of time to really focus on healing so that the results are optimized. Patients wear a compression garment after surgery to ensure the best results.

It’s ideal to have a mommy makeover when you’re finished having children, so you can enjoy your new contours for years to come.

If you’ve been dreaming of having your pre-baby body back, the latest advancements in plastic surgery make this goal easier to achieve than ever before.

We live in an era where plastic surgery is no longer viewed as vain, and focusing on your well-being is celebrated.

As your baby enjoys all of the beautiful experiences life has to offer, you can too, all while focusing on what’s most important – being the best mom you can be.

Dr. Audrey Klenke, the area’s only female plastic surgeon, is the owner of Pinnacle Plastic Surgery. She is a member of the medical staff at both Beaufort Memorial Hospital and Hilton Head Hospital.