Pregnancy after Bariatric SurgeryPregnancy after bariatric surgery can be healthy and safe if you follow the advice of your health care provider. In fact, studies show that pregnancy after weight-loss surgery could be safer for the mom and her baby compared to pregnancy complicated by obesity. 

A common concern among women considering bariatric surgery is whether it will be safe to get pregnant in the future following the operation, and the short answer to this question is yes.

It’s much safer for a woman to carry a child after losing excess weight because obesity can cause many complications during pregnancy.

Remember that if you want to get pregnant after bariatric surgery, make sure you talk to your healthcare team and check in regularly to ensure you and your baby are healthy.

The Dangers of Pregnancy and Obesity

Obesity has some comorbid health conditions, and many of these can make pregnancy risky. Moreover, obese women are at an increased risk for many major and minor complications during pregnancy, including chest infections, headaches, gestational diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome, pre-eclampsia, depression, postpartum hemorrhage, and more.

Beyond that, being an obese mother also puts your baby at risk for certain conditions, including heart defects, ADHD, anorectal atresia, and spina bifida. As such, it’s much safer for you and your baby if you wait until after your bariatric surgery to get pregnant.

Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery: Ensuring Successful Results

When you want to get pregnant but also want to ensure you meet your weight loss goals after bariatric surgery, the general recommendation is that you wait 12 to 18 months after your surgery to get pregnant.

Most weight loss will happen during the year and a half post-op, and this period will also give you lots of time to get used to your new diet, eating habits, and routines. This waiting period also ensures you have plenty of time to heal, which will prevent the possibility that you mistake post-op symptoms with pregnancy symptoms.

Remaining Healthy During Your Pregnancy

Another reason to wait up to 18 months after surgery is to ensure that you’re getting proper nutrition. Proper diet is especially important with bariatric procedures that center on preventing the body from absorbing calories and nutrients at the same rate as pre-op.

Since specific deficiencies are common in post-op patients, you don’t want a deficiency when you’re pregnant.

Along with eating a healthy diet and talking to your physician and dietician about a good meal plan for pregnancy, you’ll probably also want to take supplements. Some of the most common deficiencies in post-op pregnancies include:

  • Iron
  • Folic acid
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Albumin

 

More About Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery

Pregnant women who have had bariatric surgery such as gastric sleeve surgery have a lower birth rate than the average and are more likely to give birth by caesarian section, and it’s also more likely that your baby will be born prematurely.

Women who have had bariatric surgery also experience internal hernias and bowel obstructions more often during pregnancy. However, that’s not to say you can’t safely have a baby, and the important thing is to keep in close contact with your medical team.

Bariatric surgery is both life-altering and potentially life-saving, and having the surgery before you get pregnant will ensure you’re as healthy as possible to have a child. Not only is it safe to get pregnant after surgery, but it’s also safer for both you and the baby if you lose excess weight before getting pregnant.

Just remember to stick with your healthy diet, take your supplements, and listen to the advice of your doctors and dieticians.

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