In balancing her life as a marathoner, an executive and a mother, Jennifer Strong hit the wall a few years ago, after her second child. The lithe brunette had taken such good care of her body by eating well and training meticulously—running 30 miles a week and working with a personal trainer. Still, her figure had failed to return to its pre-motherhood contours.
Two pregnancies and nursing babies had taken its toll on Strong’s stomach muscles and breasts. “There’s no doubt about it, having babies makes a huge difference on your body,” says 35-year-old Strong sitting in her Syracuse home, her rambunctious young daughters, Jera and Kate, listening in. “It doesn’t matter how much you work out or what diet you’re on, it’s not going to fix what having two or three kids does to your body.”
After hours of online research, meeting with doctors in face-to-face consultations and talking to her mother, step-mother, sisters and her husband, Strong decided to get what is known as the “mommy makeover.” The suite of plastic-surgery procedures, marketed for young mothers, includes breast augmentation, a tummy tuck and “sculpting” through liposuction and Botox. The idea is to return a woman’s body to its pre-pregnancy profile. The cost? $7,000 to $10,000, depending, of course, on the body being rebuilt.
Strong was so pleased with the results that after having her third and, she says, last child, she went back for a touch up—replacing her original breast implants with a newer, more comfortable versions and having some additional liposuction on her hips.
“I’m very active. I run marathons,” Strong says of her cosmetic surgery decisions. “It comes down to genetics and having babies. You comes to a point when nothing else is going to fix what needs to be fixed.”