The New York Times ran an article regarding the "Mom Job."  The "Mommy Makeover" or "Mom Job" is a trifecta of plastic surgery procedures – tummy tuck, liposuction, and breast lift/augmentation.

          I’m a member of the, "If it works for you, great," camp.  Rarely do I stray from that ideal.  As a doula, it has become even further ingrained into my very fiber of being.  However, my camp only upholds that philosophy if you are making an educated decision for yourself.

          As was noted on The Shape of a Mother, the argument is not about whether or not women should get plastic surgery.  The argument is about why women are going under the knife.

          I have never really been happy with the way my body looked.  Even when I was a fairly slim kid, I thought I could be thinner, that my legs were too thick, that my tummy was too round, and that even my arms were too jiggly.  After having the boys, I came down on myself very hard.  I gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, partly because of my insulin levels.  I cannot skimp on carbs, and with ketone levels rising anytime I even tried to cut back, I had to eat almost round the clock just to keep from passing out.  I gained 45-50 pounds the first time around and about 55-60 the second time.  I was devastated.

           Shortly after Skeeter was born, I started researching plastic surgery – what the tummy tuck procedure actually entailed, the risks, what I could expect to look like, the recovery time, and of course, the cost.  The more I looked around, the more upset I became.  Why should I feel so badly about a very natural change in my body?  Yes, I could have curtailed the "devastation" by gaining less weight, or trying harder to diet and exercise after the boys were born, but really, what was the big deal?

          By then, I was paying more and more attention to other moms’ bodies, how they felt about them, and how other people looked at them, as well.  The "celebrity baby boom" was all over the media and you couldn’t check out at any store without "[Insert celebrity name here]’s Post-Baby Diet!" or "Check out [insert celeb name here]’s FAB post-baby body!" visually assaulting you from every magazine cover.  It’s great that those celebs bounced back.  Truly. 

          But you know, the rest of the moms shouldn’t feel bad because we can’t afford personal trainers, or fresh food delivered to our doors daily, or even a gym membership and a sitter!  We shouldn’t feel bad because as much as looking in the mirror hurts, we simply can’t muster the time and energy to work out!  We shouldn’t be made to feel like we have to fix ourselves just so we can walk out in public without being snickered at.  If I make the decision to have surgery for my own mental well-being, to correct muscle position, or just because it is something I want to do for myself, that’s fine.  I shouldn’t make the decision based on guilt, or feelings of inferiority when compared to Britney Spears, Katie Holmes, and Heidi Klum.  I don’t begrudge any woman an easy pregnancy, a flat tummy, or any other thing of the sort.  I get angry when people are trying to profit from a woman’s feelings of insecurity and/or inferiority.  I get angry when we are made to feel unattractive or unfit to be seen in public because we aren’t bikini ready just 8 weeks after the birth of a child.

         Would I like to go out and feel confident in a two-piece swim suit next summer?  SURE! 

          Would I like to spend $10,000 to $30,000 to do it?  Would I like to wear a post-surgical bra, and endure major surgery and the recovery that comes with it?  Would I like to explain to my boys why I risked my life and health for physical appearance?  No.  Would I probably feel even worse after the surgery?  YES.

          Surgery is not an option for me.  I have no ill-will or feelings of superiority toward women who choose cosmetic surgery – Your body, your choice.  Honestly.  What I do get upset about is when women are pressured into these decisions or made to feel like we don’t belong when we don’t make the decision to go under the knife.

          Shame on those who profit from our negative feelings about ourselves.  Shame on those who encourage those negative feelings with unfair reporting, glamorization of only maiden forms, and for belittling the figures of mothers and their stretch marks.  Shame!