Mommy Makeovers: Alternatives to Plastic Surgery

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, young mothers in their 30s are signing up for multiple procedures like tummy tucks, breast lifts, augmentations, and liposuction. Ten years ago, the target demographic for these operations was a female closer to 50 -- like me. But no one wants to wait that long to get their pre-baby shape back. In a recent ASPS survey, 62 percent of moms said they would consider a "mommy makeover," if cost were not an issue. Turns out that these cosmetic surgery packages average over $12,000. Most women can't afford that price tag.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I stopped weighing myself after my scale declared that I'd added 55 pounds to my 5'5" frame. No matter how much or how long I nursed, the excess fat never melted off. It was always a struggle between what I ate and how much I exercised. Having been a semi-gym rat before my oldest son's birth, I found myself house-bound; rarely able to manage a daily shower, much less a jog or brisk walk pushing a baby stroller. It took another two kids and 18 years before I had the energy to get back to regular aerobic workouts and take up weight training to tone my thighs and tummy. During those less than lean years, I lived in high waisted, control top panty hose. It was the only undergarment I could count on to smooth, tighten, and hide my post-pregnancy bulges. Even if I couldn't get back my former size, I felt better about how I looked in my clothes.

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Today's young mothers have more choices when it comes to fashion-sculpting foundations. They can instantly transform their figures with modern shapewear.  From SpanxFlexees, to Naomi & Nicole, there are dozens of body smoothing garments that compress bumps and lumps. While some may not want to admit they've been under the knife, even celebrities sing the praises of these wonder undies. There's no shame in taming your tummy with a torsette. Once our 30-year-old new mama product tester put it on, she wouldn't take it off. "It does a fantastic job at smoothing over my slight muffin top without being too restricting or suffocating. I like that I can wear my normal bra and the torsette's under bra cut adds just the perfect amount of extra oomph and push-up on the sides, making my breasts look perky under clothing." Priced at under $35, this Naomi & Nicole Torsette is far cheaper, and less medically invasive than plastic surgery.

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