24 September 2014
With the pressure on young mums to get back into shape after pregnancy and images of all those ‘snap-back’ celebrities like Kate Middleton and Victoria Beckham making it look like a breeze, many women are looking to cosmetic surgery to return to their shapely selves after having children, especially in this ‘Yummy Mummy’ era.
Every woman who has been pregnant knows the body can change dramatically after giving birth and breastfeeding. One of the biggest changes can affect the breasts, which can sag as well as increase or decrease in size.
Joanna Lumb, 30, from Huddersfield, is one of a growing number of women having cosmetic surgery to help restore their pre-pregnancy shape. Joanna, who works for her partner’s graphic design business in Leeds, opted for breast augmentation at Spire Leeds Hospital.
Following the birth of her daughter, Lila, two years ago, Joanna was upset to see the toll it had taken on her body. “I was happy with my shape before pregnancy, however, after childbirth I lost the baby weight and my breasts disappeared,” she said.
For Joanna, the problem was highlighted when she went on holiday. “It had already started to bother me although I felt fine in my clothes as I wore a padded bra. However, when I saw myself in a bikini there was nothing there; I could only see the breastbones. It made me feel self conscious.”
When she returned from holiday, Joanna talked to a friend who had recently had breast implants, who recommended a cosmetic surgeon; Ms Grainne Bourke at Spire Leeds Hospital. After doing some research Joanna made an appointment to see her.
“I had a long list of questions and Grainne went through them with me. She then recommended that I go away and think about it before making a decision although I was pretty certain at that point and soon after that I returned and booked the procedure.”
Consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Grainne Bourke, performed the procedure at Spire Leeds Hospital which increased her size from an A to a D cup.
“The care was excellent. I’m an anxious patient and because of this they moved me up to the first on the operating list on the morning of surgery so I would not have to wait around feeling nervous. I was really grateful for that.”
“I wanted a natural shape and chose a teardrop rather than a round implant as I’m quite petite and wanted to look like before I had my daughter, just a little bigger. Grainne helped guide me through the choices about the type of size of implants that would be best for me and I felt total confidence in her advice.”
Grainne Bourke said, “Young women have always wanted to get back into pre pregnancy shape and are very motivated - as some celebrity mums are portrayed as achieving this quickly and apparently easily, it does add pressure.”
She explained the changes pregnancy can make to the body, “During pregnancy and breast feeding there is a significant increase in the volume of breast tissue. This is a normal process and prepares the breast for the possibility of milk production in the future. After pregnancy and breastfeeding as hormones gradually revert to pre-pregnancy levels the breast tissue gradually shrinks. However the breast pocket has been stretched and the shape and appearance of breasts is altered permanently.”
“Women tend to either want to restore the breast shape and size they had before having children or they want to maintain the larger breast size they got used to having during pregnancy,” added Grainne Bourke.
Record numbers of Britons are having cosmetic surgery procedures.Last year, more than 50,000 operations were carried out in the UK by members of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons with breast augmentation remaining the most popular procedure in the UK.* As only one in three plastic surgeons is a member of the organisation, the true figure is likely to be much higher.
Grainne Bourke advises patients to wait at least six months after giving birth and breastfeeding before even considering any type of cosmetic surgery procedure.
Joanna went home the day after surgery and was back at work after about two weeks. She said she is very happy with the result, “I chose to have the surgery for myself. It was the right choice for me and I feel like I did it for the right reasons. It’s made me so much happier with my body. My breasts are even better than before I was pregnant and it’s made me feel more confident and feminine.”
Grainne Bourke added, “Joanna had considered surgery very carefully and was well researched on breast implants and the risks involved with surgery as well as the positive side. This is important as it indicates she took time to weigh up the pros and cons of surgery and made an informed choice to proceed.”