Job cuts may have forced some in Canberra to tighten their belt but they haven't stopped a rapid increase in the number of mothers getting a tummy tuck.
It's the fastest growing procedure for a number of the city's plastic surgeons, while breast lifts and facelifts are also popular.
Canberra Aesthetic Plastic Surgery owner Alastair Taylor said he now saw about 60 mothers a year who wanted the procedure, which involves sewing the muscle wall together, up about 50 per cent on four years ago.
"It's not the skin that's the issue, it's the muscle wall and they get back pain. When you sew them back together it's like injecting them with 50,000 volts," Dr Taylor said.
"It not only makes them look better but they feel better, and they weren't expecting it."
Despite a loss of seven per city of the city's public sector jobs last financial year, the Deakin surgeon said growth in cosmetic surgery, only a part of his practice, had continued.
"The public shame of having plastic surgery has disappeared," Dr Taylor said.
"Interest rates are low and people are availing themselves of that as well."
Plastic and cosmetic surgeon Vlad Milovic said his boom procedure was a "mummy makeover" package, combining a tummy tuck with a breast augmentation for women who wanted to return to their pre-baby bodies.
"Since 2008, mummy makeovers are up 30-40 per cent," he said.
"The level of satisfaction is extremely high and the girls can see the results straight away."
A surgeon for two decades, Dr Milovic said tummy tucks only were up about 20 per cent in the last three years, breast lifts alone were up about 20-30 per cent, while those who wanted upper eye lid and lower eye lid lifts had risen by 30 per cent.
Michelle Hicks, 34, is one of Dr Milovic's mummy makeover patients, and said the procedure in September had changed her life.
"I've got so much more confidence, my self-esteem is through the roof, it's fantastic to get into the clothes I haven't been able to get into for years," Ms Hicks said.
The Charnwood mother of two said the procedures cost about $25,000 and left her about four kilograms lighter, and she had since lost another 10kg with a change of diet.
She said while it was easy to wish to have the beautiful bodies in magazines, her decision was not based on societal pressure.
"I don't think it applied to me – it was mainly I wanted to feel better for me," Ms Hicks said.
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