'Skin Decision: Before and After': Melissa seeks help to stop looking perpetually pregnant
The fifth episode highlights the journey of a performing artiste named Melissa. The Tenessee resident is a singer-dancer by profession. She was born with an umbilical hernia but didn't notice anything unusual while growing up. However, her stomach changed drastically after she gave birth to her four babies. She came to seek Dr Sheila Nazarian and Nurse Jamie's help after her belly perpetually started to resemble one of a three-month expectant mother.
Melissa signed up for the treatment because she realized how much her body was affecting her life as a performer. In a confessional, she said, she saw a person who was almost there, while looking in the mirror. "This body has carried children, this body has been on Broadway and this body has done all these things that I am proud of, so I may as well love myself. So now I love myself, but I don't love all of me," she said.
Back at the lab, while waiting for Melissa to arrive, Nurse Jamie and Sheila Nazarian were discussing the case. The latter said that she checked her file and that Melissa indeed looked pregnant and understood why she was seeking help for her physical appearance. Jamie too chimed in with a personal experience. She gave birth to triplets and right after giving birth, she ran into her neighbor who told her that she looked ready to pop. They laughed it off but not before noting that appearing perpetually pregnant is looked at as a stigma and a reason why a lot of mothers feel insecure about themselves.
After Melissa's arrival, they further discussed the reasons that brought her to the lab. Melissa confided in them about her situation. She said that she loves her children and doesn't regret anything about it. However, she didn't know her body would change the way it did. "My stomach has loose skin. When I lie down, things poke out. I can feel things moving around and basically I always look three months pregnant," she said.
Dr Nazarian explained to her that her situation was called post pregnancy diastasis which meant her stomach that was splayed during her pregnancy didn't come back to its original position and the muscles don't have enough strength to pull it back. Nazarian came up with a plan that involved fixing the hernia, the diastasis and then giving her a tummy tuck so that the next time Melissa steps up on stage, she wouldn't have to be insecure about her body.
To see the full transformation, tune in to 'Skin Decision: Before and After' which is now streaming on Netflix.