Mum’s The Word
Published in the August 2013 issue of Harpers Bazaar Magazine (harpersbazaar.com.au)
So-called ‘Mummy Makeovers” are in full swing. TRACEY WITHERS reports on the booming trend and what’s on offer
We’ve parked the Bugaboo, grabbed a decaf mocha latte and just made it in time for this morning’s midweek mother’s group in a Range Rover-populated suburb of Sydney, where a scar bare-and-compare ritual is just getting under way. Caesarean sections? No – all the mothers here gave birth au naturel. But they definitely have a surgery story or two to reveal. “We’re the scalpel collective!” grins Lainie*, 44.
Lainie is raving about the smoothing effects organic coconut oil is having on the evidence of this, her second boob job. “After my first child five years ago, I decided no more babies and had a lift. It was glorious. Then came the ambush baby and my milk went into overdrive,” she says, tenderly unwrapping a cheese stick for Alexia*, now 20 months old. “I ended up in an industrial bra. This time I needed to upgrade the lift with implants to get shape back.”
At 32, Jacinta* is the youngest in the group and yet the veteran, with four boys, aged nine, six, four and one. No scars yet, but she’s booked in to be “completely remastered” next month, with boobs plus lipo and a thigh-to-tum tune-up. It’s a $20,000 bill and her husband’s OK about that, but Jacinta’s clearly not doing this to keep the hubby happy.
“I’ve banked all my ‘push presents’ and I’m cashing them in,” she reasons. Well, Jay-Z is thought to have given Beyonce a $35,000 ring as a gift for having baby Blue. “Exactly! I deserve to get back the body I’ve dieted and sweated for. I don’t feel guilty – I’m using the family savings for a home renovation, of sorts. I grew our family inside my body and I have wear and tear.”
Alison*, 45, quiet so far, is shifting gingerly on the park bench. Tummy tuck? Not quite — she’s just had the “golden gates” done. “Since having a hard labour with my 11-pound boy, the canal cruise just hasn’t been the same,” she quips. Sex has been less … sexy, less frequent. She masks emotion with humour, but this was a big decision. For all their frivolity, all the women here are, in fact, in-formed and very supportive. “The work All’s had done isn’t even really cosmetic – it’s for her sexual health and wellbeing,” offers Lainie.
This kind of conversation is happening all around the country “The post-pregnancy plastics demographic is huge,” confirms founder of starter-research site Plastic Surgery Hub (plasticsurgeryhub.com.au) Trish Hammond, who is tracking the numbers as they rise. It would be easy to blame model supermums with midriffs seemingly made of elastic, but Hammond hastens to say it’s more likely because, generally, women are bearing children later in life. “Older mums are more aware of their physical differences after babies.They bounce back less with each one. They’ve had longer careers, they are spending time out of the office to do a lot of research and they potentially have more money to invest in themselves.”
Hammond observes that this explosion has sparked the emergence of surgeons specifically offering branded “mummy makeover” packages. These are really just combinations of procedures, but they cater to the rising demand among mothers for full-body blitzes. Having multi-surgeries can certainly reduce costs for anaesthesia, and condense the down-time for mums cramming their “work” into minimal time off.