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Kate Gosselin and mommy makeovers: The plastic surgery mystery

Monica Beyer is a mom of four and has been writing professionally since 2000, when her first book, Baby Talk, was published. Her main area of interest is attachment parenting and all that goes with it, including breastfeeding, co-sleepin...

Would you go for a mom package?

Speculation is running wild: Did Kate Gosselin have a facelift? If so, she's no the only mom to have plastic surgery. Celeb moms and "regular" moms are going under the knife. Have you heard about the "mom package" or the "mommy makeover?" Keep reading!

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You may fantasize about what your body looked like before your baby took up residence inside. Plastic surgery and its promise of a return to your pre-baby body may be very tempting, but the sheer cost and potential risks are factors you will probably consider. What exactly is the mom package, and would you go for it?

The mommy makeover

Think about how your body changes when you become pregnant and birth a child. Your abdomen rounds out, your breasts become fuller and you may add some extra change into the bank account around your butt and thighs. Your skin stretches to the max and sometimes leaves behind a river of stretch marks to forever remind you of the time your carried your little one inside.

But after your baby arrives, and even after you lose your pregnancy weight, you simply don't look the same. That's where a cosmetic surgery mommy makeover comes in, with a breast lift and augmentation, a tummy tuck, and possibly a butt lift and liposuction.

In the spotlight

Such procedures don't come cheap, which is how many celeb moms find themselves in the headlines. Kate Gosselin's possible new look was unveiled in a photo posted online recently, but no confirmation has come forth. So we asked Dr. Gregory Buford, board certified plastic surgeon at Beauty by Buford in Denver, Colorado, to give his professional opinion as to whether Kate Gosselin went under the knife.

"Judging from her current appearance as compared to previous photographs, Kate does look refreshed and a little bit different," Dr. Buford shared with us. "I would say that although she does look more refreshed, it is doubtful that she went under the knife this time and that her facial improvement has more to do with the needle than the knife. Her cheeks are slightly more plump and her jawline refined. In addition, she has very few wrinkles to her forehead and so this suggests to me that she has undergone treatment with injectables."

Real moms discuss

Becky Harks, wildly popular blogger at Mommy Needs Vodka, got a tummy tuck in 2010. Not only was her belly looking less that perfect, her abdominal muscles had separated and it was causing her significant discomfort. "Aside from the recovery, which was brutal," she wrote, "It has been a total win. I look great and feel full of the awesome."

We queried a few other moms whether they'd consider going for the mom package and getting a new look like Kate Gosselin (although the jury's still out on whether she did it!).

Many were outright wary of the risks and pain involved such as Jolene, mother of three. "One of my friends had a tummy tuck and the recovery was horrible," she shared. "In theory I would love a mom makeover, but the reality is it is painful and has its risks. My body looks horrendous, but the destruction came from growing my babies & I'm ok with that."

Kelly, mother of two, agreed. "It's way too dangerous for me," she shared. "As much as I would love to have an awesome body, it is not worth it. I've heard too many horror stories about that stuff!"

Charlene, from New York, was all for it, however. "Yes, I would if it would make me feel better and I could afford it," she stated. "Having a kid does a lot to your body and your self esteem is shot. Why not?!" And Heather, mother of soon-to-be two children, is fully intending on getting a tummy tuck and a breast lift when they are done having children. "The way I look at it, I'm just doing what I want for my body that can't be done naturally," she affirmed.

Message to our children

What message does this desire for perfection send to our kids? Is it actually perfection we are hoping for, or a return to what was ours before our children was born? The celebrities parading in their delectable bodies mere weeks after giving birth have given rise to unreasonable expectations for the rest of us, but it certainly can develop the argument that it plays into even more unreasonable expectations for our children.

But as Becky Harks suggests, keep your lines of communication open and be honest and upfront with your kids if you do have cosmetic surgery by telling them, "You should never feel like you must have a breast augmentation or any other cosmetic procedure to be beautiful."

What to consider before going under the knife

Dr. Buford has several suggestions for moms considering plastic surgery. "Every patient should have realistic expectations about the actual outcome," he remarked. "Reasonable patients are happy patients because they know going into surgery what a surgeon can and cannot do and they rarely are surprised. Next, they should know the background, training and expertise of their surgeon. Too often, patients are drawn to price and not precision only to be disappointed after their procedure that they didn't accomplish their overall goals."

If you are thinking about going for a mommy makeover of your own, you have a lot to consider and think about, but hopefully we've given you a place to begin.

Tell us

Would you consider having a mommy makeover? Why or why not? Share in the comments section below.

More on plastic surgery

Will plastic surgery save your marriage?
Plastic surgery & skin care: What you need to know
Michelle Pfeiffer gets honest about plastic surgery

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