Pregnancy and childbirth have a highly visible impact on the female body. Women often notice dramatic changes in the shape of their breasts, belly, buttocks, and thighs immediately after having a baby.
To regain their pre-baby bodies, women can turn to the widely accepted and utilized, “mommy makeover.”
The changes associated with fatherhood aren’t as readily apparent, but they’re no less significant. Though men don’t physically carry children, their brains and bodies, too, are altered by the hormonal fluctuations, lifestyle changes, fatigue, and normal aging following fatherhood.
If you haven’t heard, men these days are paying more attention to their appearances. Men’s grooming has surged in the last ten years. Cosmetic specialists, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons, too, report that where five years ago their male patients made up 10 percent of their clientele, today that number is 20 to 25 percent.
One of the hottest physical rejuvenations for men today is the “daddy do-over.” This personalized series of procedures helps to reverse these physical changes so men can stay confident, active, and healthy while they raise their children.
What Causes “Dad Bod”?
Dad bod doesn’t happen overnight; instead, the male body tends to change gradually over several years in response to the physical and mental rigors of age and fatherhood. Some of the primary causes of dad bod include:
Like women, men experience hormonal upheaval after becoming parents. Compared to men who have no children, fathers have lower levels of the male hormone testosterone and higher levels of estrogen and oxytocin. In some ways, these changes are very positive: Fathers are calmer and more family-focused because they experience less aggression and have fewer urges to seek new romantic partners. At the same time, surges of the “feel good” hormone oxytocin encourage the formation of deep interpersonal bonds and lower the risk of depression. Dads often report feeling a stronger sense of personal purpose and fulfillment after having kids.
Physically, however, these hormonal swings can have unwanted effects: By accelerating the normal age-related decline in testosterone levels, fatherhood can hasten weight gain and fat centralization. In the years following the birth of their first child, men often experience an increase in abdominal fat and, in some cases, the development of new fat stores on the chest.
Parents of both sexes are usually shocked by just how much having a baby changes their life. Parents discover that they suddenly have to adjust their schedules to accommodate childcare, giving up a lot of their free time in the process. Between preparing meals, helping with homework, driving the kids to daycare, school, etc., both moms and dads typically lack time to go to the gym, play sports, socialize, and otherwise stay active. Furthermore, when parents do get a bit of “me time,” they (understandably) prefer to spend it relaxing or bonding with their partner.
Parents also tend to eat differently than non-parents: Time constraints make it harder to plan and prepare healthy home-cooked meals, so parents rely more heavily on takeout and other calorie-rich convenience foods. Kid-oriented events, like pizza-and-movie nights and birthday parties, also contribute to poor dietary habits. In combination with reduced activity levels, these changes in eating habits often lead to weight gain.
Research indicates that stress plays a role in the development of dad bod, too. The pressures of balancing fatherhood with a career have been shown to encourage comfort eating. (Fat and carbohydrate-rich foods temporarily increase serotonin levels, so they can alleviate feelings of tension.) According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, 43 percent of parents eat junk food to help them cope with stress, compared to 30 percent of non-parents.
Sleep deprivation is a normal part of parenthood, but that doesn’t make it any easier on your body. Nights of missed and broken sleep can contribute to insulin resistance, which encourages overeating and weight gain. Fatigue also plays a role in premature aging: Even a single night of missed sleep speeds up the rate of cellular aging, as shown in a study done by researchers at UCLA. Sleep-deprived people of both sexes experience a more rapid loss of skin collagen, which leads to the development of lines, wrinkles, and loose skin on the face and body.
Revitalize Your Face and Body With a Daddy Do-Over
The best part of having a daddy do-over is how flexible this treatment plan is. If you visit an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Robert Singer, you’ll be able to choose from a wide array of different cosmetic procedures. Dr. Singer can personalize your daddy do-over to reflect your individual goals, so you’ll get exactly the results you want (with the least possible downtime). During your daddy do-over consultation, you can expect to discuss the procedures outlined below:
Liposuction is included in the vast majority of daddy do-overs. During liposuction, Dr. Singer uses suction to remove unwanted fat from specific “problem areas” that haven’t responded to diet and exercise. Because fat is removed through a very narrow tube (called a cannula), liposuction doesn’t cause scarring or significant discomfort. Liposuction is a popular treatment for busy working dads because patients can resume most of their normal activities just one week after having this procedure.
Liposuction retains an edge over many non-surgical fat removal systems due to its superior precision, versatility, and its ability to produce permanent results after a single treatment. Dr. Singer uses liposuction to address some of the most common cosmetic concerns dads face, including stubborn belly fat and gynecomastia (excess male breast tissue). Liposuction can also be used to improve facial contours and eliminate fat underneath the chin. When you visit Dr. Singer for a daddy do-over consultation, you’ll be able to choose which areas of your body you want to sculpt with liposuction.
Though liposuction is the gold standard for removing pockets of stubborn fat, this procedure can’t take the place of natural weight loss. Before having liposuction, you’ll need to be close to your ideal weight because surgeons can only remove about ten pounds of fat at a time. (Removing more than this could send your body into shock.) Liposuction is typically used to eliminate remaining bulges and improve muscle definition after successful weight loss.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Women almost always need tummy tuck surgery following childbirth because pregnancy damages the thin band of tissue (called the linea alba) that connects the abdominal muscles. This condition, medically known as diastasis recti, is less common in men, but it can occur. Men who gain a significant amount of weight in adulthood sometimes experience abdominal muscle separation because male bodies carry more weight around the abdomen. This pattern of fat distribution puts a lot of stress on the abdominal cavity, which can cause tissue tearing.
Once you have diastasis recti, no amount of exercise will successfully restore the same muscle tone you had before gaining weight. Without a strong linea alba joining them, the abdominal muscles can’t work in unison, which causes them to atrophy. In fact, some common abdominal exercises can make abdominal muscle separation worse by placing more pressure on already damaged tissue. To get your strength back, you’ll need to have your abdominal muscles repaired with self-dissolving sutures during tummy tuck surgery. This procedure will also remove loose skin from your abdomen, creating a flatter, leaner belly.
For dads who have loose abdominal skin with good underlying muscle tone, Protégé may be a better option than tummy tuck surgery. Protégé is a non-surgical skin-tightening system that uses radio frequency (RF) energy to stimulate natural skin healing. This innovative treatment can firm your belly without downtime.
Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift)
Though most dads are too young for facelift surgery, it’s not uncommon for men in their 30s and 40s to notice signs of aging around their eyes. The orbital region ages more quickly than the rest of the face because the skin and connective tissues around the eyes are especially delicate. These tissues are also stressed by frequent movement and consistent sun exposure; both of these factors make collagen break down faster.
As early as age 35, many guys start seeing visible bags and dark circles under their eyes. These features can make you look older than you are and create a tired or sad appearance, even when you’re well-rested. Dr. Singer usually recommends lower blepharoplasty to smooth away eye bags and restore a rested, alert look. This minimally invasive procedure removes excess fat from below the eyes to eliminate unwanted puffiness.
For more extensive facial rejuvenation, blepharoplasty can be paired with a mini facelift. The mini facelift is designed to correct early signs of facial aging, like sagging cheeks and visible jowls. Unlike a conventional facelift, a mini facelift doesn’t require significant downtime and carries little risk of scarring or discomfort.
Botox can be used on its own or in combination with blepharoplasty to reduce dynamic wrinkles around the eyes and brows. Over half a million men get Botox each year to painlessly erase crow’s feet and frown lines with just a few quick injections. Botox works by temporarily paralyzing specific facial muscles to prevent them from creasing your skin when you smile, laugh, or frown.
Dermal fillers, such as Juvederm®, can reduce the visible signs of aging and sculpt specific facial features. Men use dermal fillers to fill in deep wrinkles around the mouth and to enhance cheek, chin, and jaw definition. Some dermal fillers, like Juvederm Voluma XC®, emulate the effects of a mini facelift by providing structural support for the cheeks.
Dermal fillers are a great choice for dads who still have young children at home because they don’t require any downtime. Most dermal filler treatments take just 15 minutes to complete, and patients can return to work–and fatherhood–immediately after their appointment.
Depending on your preferences, your daddy do-over can incorporate surgical procedures, non-surgical treatments, or a blend of both types of procedure. Dr. Singer will help you select the best combination of treatments to meet your needs.
What to Consider Before You Have Surgery
Daddy do-overs can be physically demanding, depending on which procedures you choose. To be a good candidate for surgery, you’ll need to be healthy, a non-smoker, and have a BMI that’s close to the normal range. You’ll also need to have a plan in place for how to balance the demands of fatherhood with recovery. If you have liposuction or a tummy tuck, for example, you won’t be able to bend or lift heavy objects for at least a few weeks. Enlisting the aid of a relative or childcare provider while you recover from surgery can reduce stress for you and your partner.
Ready to Say Goodbye to Dad Bod? Contact Dr. Robert Singer in La Jolla, CA
Body confidence is especially important when you’re a parent: As a dad, you have to set a positive example by demonstrating the importance of self-care and feeling comfortable in your own skin.
If you have questions about the daddy do-over, contact Dr. Robert Singer at 858-455-0290. You can also reach out via our website to ask your questions or schedule a consultation with the doctor in La Jolla. Dr. Singer understands the demands of fatherhood and makes it his priority to deliver compassionate, thorough care to men seeking cosmetic improvements.