If you've carried and birthed one or more children, you likely know firsthand the feelings of shock and surprise that may come across you when you look down at your formerly flat (or at least flatter) stomach to see a pregnant lady's belly.

Unfortunately, while your swollen stomach and breasts may slowly deflate during the first few weeks after giving birth to your bundle of joy, what's left behind can bear little resemblance to the body you remember.

While surgery is often the quickest and most effective way to hoist certain body parts back to their original locations, you may be concerned about whether your foray into cosmetic surgery will be obvious, wanting to avoid the overly nipped and tucked look that can be common among those who have had multiple facial procedures.

Fortunately, by enlisting a skilled and experienced surgeon, you'll be able to turn back the clock in a nearly invisible way. Read on to learn more about some of the surgical procedures that can help you regain your pre-kids tone and appearance without looking as though you've gone under the knife.


TUMMY TUCK

One of the most pervasive post-birth problems among new mothers is the pouch that can appear below the belly button. Although stretched skin can bounce back admirably, being occupied by a squirming fetus for nine to 10 months can wreak havoc on even the most collagen-saturated skin.

Older mothers may also find that their skin just doesn't bounce back the way it used to, leaving a saggy pouch in its place even with targeted exercises and a restrictive diet. For those who have undergone a C-section rather than a vaginal birth, this problem can be exacerbated by the weakening (or even severing) of the stomach muscles that often comes as part of C-section surgery.

A tummy tuck is designed to remove any excess skin that may remain after pregnancy while performing slight liposuction as necessary and reforming the remaining skin to give you a tauter, tighter abdominal area. For moms with C-sections, the scar from a tummy tuck can be expertly integrated into any existing C-section scar, ensuring that even the tiniest bikini should provide solid coverage.

Those who have had a vaginal birth also won't need to worry about obvious scarring, as the incision used to remove the excess skin can be expertly hidden in one of the skin folds near the pelvic area.


BREAST LIFT OR AUGMENTATION

Another problem that can often plague new mothers is the newfound breast sagginess that may come after weaning. While breastfeeding is a healthy and convenient way to ensure your little one is getting enough to eat, the daily (and sometimes hourly) fluctuation in breast size that can result may wreak havoc on your breasts over time, leaving them much lower than you might remember.

A breast lift may or may not involve augmentation; those with plenty of breast tissue may be happy with their existing breast size, just not the placement, while those whose breasts have always been on the smaller side may jump at the opportunity to go up a cup size or two.

If you do opt for both a breast lift and an augmentation, these procedures can be performed at the same time, providing you with a shorter recovery period than you might experience if undergoing two surgeries in quick succession.


LIPOSUCTION

For those who are dealing with stubborn fat deposits that no amount of exercise seems to touch, liposuction can help. This process involves the use of a thin needle to suck out excess fat cells from beneath the skin's surface, getting rid of these pockets of fat and leaving smoother, more seamless skin in their place.

Unlike a tummy tuck or breast augmentation, this procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, allowing you to relax and recuperate in the comfort of your own home during the afternoon or evening after your liposuction.

If you're interested in one (or all) of these procedures, make an appointment with a plastic surgeon to discuss your options and potential timeline.