Advice on Plastic Surgery and Children

Updated on April 14, 2008
A.J. asks from Greenville, TX
26 answers

The recent post about breast augmentation stirred up a question I've had for a long time. I'm currently breastfeeding our 4th child and I know that once I wean I will not be happy with the appearance of my breasts. The biggest concern I have about breast augmentation is the impact it may have on my daughters. I have had body image issues my whole life - not severe, but enough to be on guard against passing them down to my daughters. They are young now (ages 3 1/2, 2 and 6 mos.), but someday they will understand that I had this surgery because I didn't like the way I looked. It mortifies me to think that I could cause them to not be happy with their bodies by setting an unrealistic image for them. Has anyone who has gotten implants dealt with these questions and if so, how did you resolve them?

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

This may be a silly response but if you don't do a major change they may not even notice. They are young enough still to where you can make up reason's why they can't be as rough on you until you get better. They may find out later but only if you tell them.

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S.V.

answers from Dallas on

I was concerned about the same thing when my 2 girls were younger. I just had #3 and final 15 months ago, a boy, and my girls, now 11 and 9 see how "sad" mommy's boobs are. I went from a full C pre children, to less than an A post breastfeeding 3 kids. They see that now its a mercy job. haha. I just want a little fullness. But that is between each woman and her daughter. I too was afraid of sending a negative message to my girls, but they are now old enough to see and understand for themselves.

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J.E.

answers from Dallas on

Hey, A.. :) As a young girl and adult, I never once considered the idea of having breat implants. BUT... after having twins and breastfeeding them, my boobs (or lack thereof) were in desperate need of some help. I am very petite (110 lbs), so I settled on a nice size C cup, and I'm a coach, so they're strapped back in a sports bra every day. When my daughter's old enough to be told or when she figures it out for herself (assuming the latter will happen first), we'll talk about it. I'll tell her the truth - that I never wanted or needed them growing up (which is true in my case), but I wanted to have a more appropriately proportioned body as an adult. Will she want them someday - more than likely, yes. Will I support her in that choice when we both feel she's old enough? Yes, I honestly believe I will. I will hope she waits until after having kids, because she'll just have to pay for a lift after having kids if she doesn't! :)
Lastly, I'll leave you with what my mom told me when I finally told her I wanted the surgery. She is a VERY God-driven woman, and she has strong convictions about pretty much everything. After telling her my plans, she smiled and calmly told me, "Honey, men have a natural need to feel respected, and women have a natural need to feel beautiful. If this helps you to feel beautiful, then you should do it." With that, I felt a real peace about it. One recommendation - choose a doctor that will go through the armpit. It leaves an undetectable scar, recovery is much faster, and it the pain is minimal. I have a great doctor who's not expensive if you're interested.

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

Chances are your daughters will not be 100% happy with their appearance as they are growing up. It seems to be something most girls deal with - they want straight hair instead of curly, blonde instead of brown, etc. When the time comes that you "might" discuss with your daughters that you had breast augmentation, you will be telling them that you did this after having had 4 babies, not when you were 18 or 19. And if your husband isn't pushing you to do it, it proves to your daughters that he loves you just exactly as you are. I've had 4 kids too, and this is something I've been considering for some time (I'm 48 - my youngest is almost 20!)I've visited 5 different surgeons for opinions, method, pricing and in the last 5 years and I've yet to do it! If I do, I will do it for me as my husband hopes I DON'T do it! As you get your pre-pregancy shape back, you may change your mind again. As the years have gone by, and I'm a slim person, I've almost decided I'd rather have a tummy tuck than the breast augmentation. Or both! And then I think, wow, I'd rather spend that money on.... Sometimes as you get older you also become happier with your appearance and WHO you are rather than WHAT you look like...my focus now is on just being healthy and feeling energetic. Whatever you decide, I hope you will find that your personal value outweighs the importance placed on your appearance.

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J.F.

answers from Dallas on

Hey there, timely question. I am near 44, mother of 3 (ages 6, 8 and 2). my boobs are at my knees. I have uterine prolapse (severe) and am having a hysto on Tuesday. I decided to do a tummy tuck and breast lift as well. I have explained to my kids that I am having surgery to fix some of the things that years and 5 pregnancies in 6 years have done (we lost 2 that were far enough along to be showing, one half way)...not from an appearance perspective but from being able to have strong muscles and to not have issues with incontinence, and to remove some dense breast tissue. they seem ok with that answer. I told them b/c my ability to lift and hug will be hindered for 8 weeks. I think that's all they need to know for now. I am not doing implants b/c a good surgeon (if you have enough tissue) can lift without implants. If I decide i want more volume later, i can go back and add (but know implants are supposed to be replaced every 10 years and have issues with scar tissue). I am using Patrick Hodges MD in Dallas. He is in D magazines best list and several doctors have said he is the "plastic surgeon's plastic surgeon." it's not that expensive either (or like what i thought). I think you need to feel good about you. I have spent countless hours of energy on should or shouldn't I and I am glad to be getting it handled (all of it, even the hysto which was a tough decision). Don't beat yourself up if it makes you happy and you can swing it $$ wise. Just wait long enough so that your babies are old enough or get help since you won't be lifting for awhile. My girlfriend just did all of this stuff (same uterine issues) and she said her quality of life is 1000% better and from the cosmetic standpoint, feels great in her clothing. Weigh the risks too....good luck!

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E.P.

answers from Dallas on

My sister-in-law got implants. She jumped in a swimming pool and BAMM! - - one burst. I don't understand the kind of thinking that would make a woman undergo the risks associated with major surgery (like being allergic to the anesthia and dying on the table) in order to put a foreign object into her body - - just so she could "look good" to the opposite sex. I especially can't understand the thought process of women who already are in a committed relationship with a life partner and shouldn't even be trying to attract other males.

But that is just my own opinion. With so many of my peers in Keller and Southlake getting implants, I feel like I am in the minority - - but I am going to stand my 34" ground!

I took my teenage daughter to see "Fool's Gold." We both admired Kate Hudson in that movie as a role model of a beautiful woman happy with her body just the way it is. We need MORE ROLE MODELS like this!!! Seek them out. Point them out to your daughters!

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C.G.

answers from Dallas on

My mom got implants when I was about 12. My other siblings are 8 and 9 years younger than me and after she breastfed them, she showed me why she was getting them because she thought I would want to know. Honestly, I have since then, kind of looked down on her (in this issue.) I think implants are ridiculous and now almost 15 years later, she regrets them, but doesn't have the money or time off from work to get them out. They cause her pain and I think she is embarrassed a little by them, too. (She got D's) My step-grandmother also has them and they both have similar issues. They turned as hard as rocks. My moms nipples are always hard which is ridiculous and she just regrets it. I understand that after breastfeeding you don't look the same. I know after one, I see it, but I plan on breastfeeding for my children and just dealing with it. Get a good bra. If your husband loves you, he won't care. I always discourage plastic surgery of any kind.

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A.O.

answers from Dallas on

Now that I had my son, I've considered implants, but I go back and forth on the issue. My mom though was an A cup and when my teenage sister at the time had bigger breasts than she did, she got implants. Even when I learned later on that my mom had implants, it didn't impact me at all. I didn't have body or self esteem issues growing up whatsoever until after I had my kids. Now I'm having to work on that myself. It only matters if you instill in your daughters that they can and should love themselves no matter what. :)

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T.T.

answers from Dallas on

Well...I had the breast augmentation to proporanalize my body. The nose job was a self esteem issue.

We had a plastic surgen remove our 16 month old birthmark for one of two reasons...One: it could become cancerous and Two: It was growing with her and would be huge and harder to remove later with out a skin graft.

So people can have plastic surgens for other reasons than for self esteem issues. Her scar isnt exactly beautiful it kiloid a bit so we may have some work done to it later when she grows up if it bothers her.

She may get my nose and if she wants to have work done to it I would tell her this: "Feel free to have it done when you get older if it makes you feel better about yourself...just dont do it for someone else"

If she asks why I did it I will be honest but I would never push the issue or advise her to get any work done. I grew up telling my mom ever since I was 8 that I was going to get a nose job and then later a boob job. The opportunity came where I was able to have it done.

I would be honest and explain to her the pain of having plastic surgery done and the risk that comes with it. I had my work done before I had kids and it hindered my milk supply. I would also explain to her that if I had it to do over again I would not have done my breasts...but Yes I would do the nose again!

I would want to let her know that the work I had done was for me to improve myself for me and not to comform to what society thinks that I should look like. That she is beautiful just the way she is and I would suport any decision that she has later in life.

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S.H.

answers from Dallas on

i think every body is different. i hated my breasts after breasfeeding both of my kids. my youngest is 19mos now and my breasts are actually the same size if not bigger than prebaby size. so yes i think in time your breast should go back to normal. after having 4 kids, i guess you know what your body is capable of. beauty is not about how big you are on top, or how small you are in the middle.. but how well you carry yourself. just thought i would say that.

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J.I.

answers from Dallas on

I think that you should not worry about what impact having the surgery may have on your daughters, but rather how your feelings about your self image may impact them. I think that if you were to have the surgery and your self esteem and body image was to change to a positive one, then you would be passing on the attitude of feeling positive about yourself. It sounds like you should really think hard before making a decision and figure out if the breast augmentation is truly going to improve your self esteem and body image. Personally, I think that the change in your body image is only going to come from inside. I think that if you are able to come to a place where you feel better about yourself and you still feel that you want a breast augmentation, then that is the time you should go for it. Basically, you do not want your daughters to think that only through having surgery are you able to feel better about yourself and your body.

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S.P.

answers from Dallas on

I had breast augmentation done when my daughter was almost 2 years old. My son was almost 8 at the time. It will be a year since my surgery next week. My daughter actually did not notice the change at all. I just explained to my son that people's bodies change after they have babies, and that I was not happy with the way my body looked anymore. I said I had the surgery done so that I would once again look the way God had made me look before I had babies, and he completely understood. Since your children are so young, if you have the surgery in the next couple of years, they may not even notice. If they aren't asking questions, why would you need to explain it at all? The only reason I did with my son was because he was old enough to recognize that mommy looked different.

That being said, I would like to give you my support for having your surgery! As long as your are not going way out of line with what you want done, it won't set an unrealistic image for your daughters. Make sure you keep things in line with your natural body - it's okay to go bigger than you normally would be, but just keep it natural looking. If you choose the right doctor, they will be able to help you with your decision on size. I went from a 34B to a 34D (which sounds large), but they still look like I could have had them that big naturally. You don't want people to look at you and say - Oh Lord, those are so big they can't be real! Right?

If you have any questions on how the surgery goes or what the healing time is like, just drop me a note! Good luck!

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

When I was 3 my mom had a nose job. Although I don't care for my nose it doesn't bother me enough to change it. Your kids will likely grow up to have minds of their own. I never would have realized about mom's surgery if she hadn't told me. She said it was an option for me to choose when I was old enough to make that decision and pay for it myself, but that I looked beautiful exactly how I am. If you think it would be wrong for your daughters then it would be kind of hypocritical to do it yourself, but if you think it would be alright for them if they choose to later on, then make yourself happy (as long as paying for it isn't negatively impacting your family).

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

You need to do what is best for you and not think about what others will think of it. If getting surgery is what will make you feel good about the way you see yourself then do it. After I had my last daughter I went from a D cup which I was always to an A cup. This made me feel like I was no longer a woman. I finally understood what women with breast cancer felt like after having to have them removed. It was humiliating to say the least. I was considering implants myself. I didnt get them due to the fact that i started gaining weight again and my breast came back on their own. But if in your case if you always had a smaller size and during breast feeding periods had larger cup size and felt more comfortable with that size and then lost that after stopping breast feeding. Then more power to you in wanting to get implants. My only suggestion is research doctors and find the best one for you and one that will make you feel like you can trust them in what you want done.

As for your children they are too young to know what you will have done. And later in life if you want to tell them then do so and be honest about it and let them know it was for your own self not for anyone else. And not because you thought the outside world needed you to look a certain way but because you wanted it. And there is not a thing wrong with that.

Children make there own paths these days we just guide them and hope they make the right desicion in life..

good luck

M. B

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

I am a mother of 2 kids- 2 and 4 years old. I have always hated how small I was up top (about an A or less) and then after the second child my stomach was just a big pooch of skin. I tried working out and lost all my weight but the skin/pudge always remained. So on November 26, 2007 I had a breast augmentation and tummy tuck. I can tell you honestly that it is the best thing I have ever done in my life. Of course both of my children were c-section babies but I feel it should be mandatory for a tummy tuck after a c-section. I feel so much better in all my clothes and about myself. I am now a full C. Of course my kids are young and really didn't seem to understand what was going on. My 2 year old daughter has noticed my boobs and told my mom she didn't want any. I'm sure that will change. But I also have 2 nieces that are 11 and 14. They both looked at me like I'm crazy but still love me and seem to understand why I did it. They were more concerned about the scar for the tummy tuck than the boobs.

If you don't feel good about yourself what kind of message does that send to your daughters? And if you don't get Double D stripper Boobs it won't be that noticible. And with the breast augmentation your daughters would never know unless you told them because the scar is so minimal. I had mine put in under the breast and the scar is not visible at all. And the new silicone breast implants feel so real you can't even tell they are there. I even sleep on my stomach at night with out any discomfort.

I have a friend that is 45 with 2 daughters now 21 and 23. My friend had a breast augmentation and tummy tuck when she was 22. She agrees that was the best thing she ever did too! She even helped and encouraged me through mine. Her daughters both have boob jobs now too and love them as well.

If anything this will teach you how to handle your girls better when they have the same questions you do about breast augmentation. Because face it if you have small breast they probably will too. Don't worry so much...make yourself happy and know your kids will be proud because they will have a smoking hot mom!!

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J.H.

answers from Amarillo on

I had four children, and for a time after you quit nursing your breast goes down to (nothing) but they bounce back, I'm living proof. Unless you want to wear low cut clothes, there are good bras out there to make you look good, I wouldn't think surgery was worth it. Self image has more to do with the inner self than a big breast.

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

I am just curious-are you happy with your breasts now? Do you think that breastfeeding will ruin them? My reason for asking is this: I breastfed both of my children until they turned one. I am now 40 years old and my breasts look fine-in fact I must say they are pretty perky. I will say that right after I quit breastfeeding-they didn't look like they do now. I lift weights at home a couple of times a week and I feel that has helped as well. I am certainly not against plastic surgery but just wonder why a lot of women think that breastfeeding will cause your breasts to change permanently. If you do decide to do the surgery-I hope you are happy with the results. I do not think that you need to tell your children about the surgery unless they ask and are much older. I am sure at that time you will know what to say. I definitely would not say that you had the surgery because you did not like the way you looked. Good luck!

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C.A.

answers from Dallas on

Oh, I hope I can help. My mother got breast implants when I was 13 years old. She always complained about her body, so I wasn't surprised that she did it, but it did have a big impact on me. My age had a ton to do with that. First, at the time I looked down on her b/c I thought she was being vain (which now I completely understand after nursing 2 children!), 2nd, I just thought she looked different and weird and I didn't like huging her b/c she felt different, 3rd, it made me question my body b/c I am built very similar to her (same itty bitty chest :)). At the time I said I would NEVER get a boob job, but now I understand much more. I think it would've been much better if she'd done it when I was younger (like the age your kids are) and if she hadn't made such a drastic change (AA to C). It was so obvious. Now, I have considered it, but only making a subtle change. Also, being very honest with people. My mom tried to hide it and wouldn't talk about it with anyone (although it was very obvious!).

Overall, I think what really matters is that you can portray to your children that you are content with who you are, no matter what you look like. Your girls will always think you are beautiful and want to look like you. If you are not happy with yourself and they know that, then they will question themselves. So, if having breast augmentation done now will boost your confidence, help you feel comfortable, and you portray that to them, it could be beneficial. Especially if you are very upfront with them about what happens to our bodies after 4 babies and why you had it done.

Please feel free to contact me if you have more questions. I really feel for you with this issue. It is a tough decision to make.

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C.S.

answers from Amarillo on

Hi A.! What a great question. When I had my breast augmentation at age 25 (5 yrs ago) I only had my son then so I guess I didn't have this issue. Now my daughter is almost 4 and I'm 35 weeks pregnant with another girl so this question could certainly come up in the future. I don't see this as any different (however much more extreme)than going to the salon to get my hair or nails done. By that I mean that I have always felt like women should do whatever they need to do to feel better about themselves--whether it be physically, emotionally, intellectually, etc. I think when we feel our best, we are better moms and wives. If and when this question comes up for me to answer to my duaghters, this is how I will respond to them. Alot of people feel that plastic surgery is very vain, but I am on the other side of the spectrum. I would reccommend it to anyone who thinks it would make them feel better. Hope this helps! Good Luck with your decision on whether or not to do it!! :) C.

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

Instead of getting implants, why don't you think about just getting a breast lift. That way it is all still you but after having children they were just not the same. This way you wouldn't be setting a false image because what you have is really YOU, just higher.

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

I got an augmentation when my kids were around your kids ages. I told them I had back surgery and that is why I was sleeping on the couch. You need to sleep on your back propped up. I was disappointed at first because I told my DR. that I wanted C cups and for the past 10 years I thought I was a B. I got measured finally and I am a C/D cup. No one would ever think I had a boob job because they are not in your face. I would have liked a little more cleavage but at least I am not a board. I highly reccommend it.

I knew when I was in 8th grade that I wanted a boob job. I cried underneath a bed at a party because I was so flat. I always thought I would get it when I was 40 but ended up getting them at 34 after my last child. I would ask your doctor to give you something to try on to try the different sizes. My Dr. didn't do this but I know some do. You will feel so much better if it is something that has bothered you your entire life. I finally told my oldest daughter when she was 14 but none of my kids would have ever thought I had them done because they are not overly large and look normal except that they are perkier than a normal 43 old woman.

Good luck!

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R.W.

answers from Denver on

Hi Anne, I have had 3 children and breast fed them all. Though I returned to my pre pregnancy weight each time and I am in decent shape. I could not shake my unhappiness over what my breasts looked like. I thought about having breast augmentation for YEARS. No matter what exercise or length of time passed, I could not come to peace with it. I finally consulted with a doctor who my doctor friend highly recommended. I told him that I did not want big, fake looking breasts...but small, natural looking breasts where I could at least fill a bra cup! I was a large B/small C before and after nursing 3 babies I literally could not fill a training bra!

After the consultation, I waited another 6 months to make my final decision. I did decide to have the breast augmentation but NOT a tummy tuck due to the infection risks. I had my surgery this past December and I have to say I am sorry I waited years to do it. Only two of my very close friends know I did it and no once else can tell. They are on the smallish side, but it has made all the difference to me.

I would encourage anyone on the fence to talk to the best surgeon...price should not be factor considering this your body and really your life. It is a major surgery and there are very real risks. I am thrilled and so happy I did it.

I LOVE my surgeon as I am sure most people do. I had zero bruising, no need for drains, and only took prescription strength pain pills for 2 days.

I do have a daughter and had the same concerns about what she would think. This is what I decided to tell her when she is OLDER. I did tell her that I was having surgery on body to work on something from my pregnancies. She is 9 and surprisingly did not ask for more details. I will tell her the details when she is older and explain that this was a decision that was YEARS in the making. I sought out the best advice I could and that it was not a decision I made as a young person who just wanted to improve what I was given rather restore some of what I had. That is was one of the most thought out decisions I have ever made. I made sure we could afford it and that I had the support of my husband.
Self-esteem is important...my husband did not want me to have the surgery...he said my breast size and shape did not bother him. But he NOW says...that I looking amazing and that he can tell my confidence is 100% improved.

So...long response. But I recently went through this and thought I should share.

I'd be happy to share the name of my amazing surgeon if you'd like it.

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

I had an augmentation done after my last child was no longer breast feeding. I also had a lump removed at the same time. My oldest child a girl was 5years old and the youngest was one year. I was very open about it over the years. My oldest never had a problem with it and occasionally would ask some questions she is now twenty. The youngest for some reason never realized until last year that I had an augmentation done but it did not seem to bother her. I have not had any other cosmetic surgery done but both of my daughters do not seem to have any issues with their bodies. Although one would like to have her nose fixed some day because it had gotten broken while playing sports and now is a little crooked. No big deal.

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L.N.

answers from Dallas on

I say go for it! I too breast fed 3 kids, each one over a year. I wore bikinis and was very happy with my body image after having kids. But the aftermath of breastfeeding 3 kids is just not normal. In my opinion its like saying a child with a cleft should not get surgery?? There is a difference between looking "normal" and looking like something else. I only went to a full size B. Just to fill things up. No one ever says a thing. I didn't do it to where sexy things and show them off, I just did it to "look normal", and I would be proud to tell my children that. My daughter was 7 when I had them done last year and she knows! Just make sure what ever you decide you are proud of your decision and would not be scared to tell her.

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J.P.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I responded to the first question and am going in today for a breast augmentation. Like you, I have breast fed 4 children. I also have 3 daughters. My oldest is 9 and I have been completely honest with her about things. She knows that I have very small breasts and that I would like to get them a little more proportioned to my body. I think that you should do whatever makes you happy. The best thing with your daughters is open communication as to why you made this decision. I do not think that you would set an unrealistic image for them. It is okay to do some things for yourself that make you feel good or better about yourself. I wish you luck and if you want to know how my process goes I will be happy to share with you. [email protected]____.com

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

After my twins were born, I decided to have plastic surgery,
my boys were 9months old and my girls were 5yrs and 7yrs. Now my girls are 12 and 10 and the boys 5 1/2 and to be honest I don't tink they remember and if they do they have not had any issues with it.
They did ask why I had surgery and I told them the truth, That my body was not the same after having babies and I want to be pretty and happy for my family.
Good Luck!

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