Seven Facts About Pregnancy After Weight-Loss Surgery

Pregnancy After Weight-Loss Surgery

A lot of people opt for bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery to lose the extra pound. The number of people opting for weight loss surgery has seen dramatic results and benefits. A major portion of women who undergo bariatric surgery ponder about the risks for the future pregnancy and also about getting pregnant. It is common knowledge that obese women are more prone to complications during pregnancy and a weight life surgery can help overcome those complications. This article lists seven facts that one should know about pregnancy after weight loss surgery.

Expected Boost To Fertility

Weight loss surgery can cause a sudden positive boost in a woman’s fertility. According to a report published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing in November 2005, women with fertility problems due to obesity can start to ovulate for the first time in years regularly after a weight loss surgery. Obesity affects fertility at different levels by affecting the functions of the endometrial layer and ovaries. Obesity is a major cause of PCOS. In women with such problems, a study showed 58% spontaneous conception rates.

Weight loss surgery is also said to affect polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Bariatric surgery may improve fertility in women with PCOS. According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, significant improvement in metabolic and reproductive abnormalities were seen in women with PCOS following bariatric surgery. A caveat one has to keep in mind is that the newfound fertility might raise the chances of getting pregnant by accident in case any birth control measures haven’t been used.  

18 Months Gap Before Planning For A Pregnancy is A Must

Once the weight stabilizes, it is safe to get pregnant after weight loss surgery. Post-surgery, the body goes through a stressful period accompanied by changes and nutrition disruption which might be dangerous for a developing baby. Though pregnancy after bariatric surgery is not an issue, getting pregnant becomes a crucial concern during recovery. The 18 months gap between bariatric surgery and getting pregnant is recommended by doctors to prevent the fetus from malnutrition. According to a report published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing, November 2005 issue, a gap of 18 months between bariatric surgery and getting pregnant minimizes the potential malnutrition of the mother and the fetus. By the end of 18 months after the surgery, a woman would mostly attain stable weight and can safely carry the baby.

Must Monitor The Nutrient Intake

Lack of proper nutrient intake during the recovery period might cause various problematic nutrient deficiencies at the time of pregnancy. A study published in the American Journal of Medical Science stated that the common nutritional deficiencies associated with weight loss surgery include B12, iron, calcium, and vitamin D deficiencies. There are high chances for the patient to experience protein-calorie malnutrition and fat malabsorption following the surgery. Most women take as low as 500 calories a day and have to take a vitamin to compromise with vitamins that would no longer be processed by the body.

Getting the essential nutrients becomes a Herculean task during pregnancy due to nausea. Nausea is a common post-surgery side effect that can be exaggerated by morning sickness. One can consider taking anti-nausea drugs to prevent nausea from killing the appetite.

Consult a nutritionist who is knowledgeable about bariatric surgery and make sure that you and your baby get enough nutrients. One should mention every nitty-gritty detail about the surgery and diet to get a perfect national plan.

Complication Risks Drop But Aren’t Completely Gone

A study published in Obstetrics and Gynaecology stated that women who underwent bariatric surgery seemed to develop pregnancy-induced hypertension and gestational diabetes. Though women who get bariatric surgery are still plus size, pregnant women should allow the doctor to keep a close watch on their pregnancy. After the surgery, the moms-to-be still have the risk of developing gestational diabetes, but it is not as high as before the surgery.

One Must Face A Body-Image Battle

One of the biggest emotional challenges during pregnancy after weight-loss surgery is body image. The mom-to-be should accept the fact that her belly would grow, and she has to sustain some scars. According to psychologists, women who have undergone weight loss surgery find it extremely difficult to accept that they will gain weight during pregnancy. Another emotional fact adding fire to the fuel is that during pregnancy people feel stressed and tend to eat at times of stress. This leads women to take extreme decisions such as dieting during pregnancy or gaining back some weight due to more food. Both the decisions result in stressful and dangerous consequences.

Cesarean Delivery is More Likely To Happen

A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reports that women who have undergone weight loss surgery are most likely to end up with a cesarean. Though the reasons and contributing factors are not clear, the factors help healthcare providers stay well-informed.

Inform The Gynecologist About Your Surgery

Since bariatric surgery is a relatively new treatment, a lot of ob-gyms are not aware of how to treat the women who have had the surgery. Women who had the surgery were not aware of how to inform the doctor or didn’t want to. It is best to start a session with an obstetric and gynecology specialist for a smooth and well-planned pregnancy after the bariatric surgery. The extra time allows the doctor to do some research regarding the health of the mother and child.

Bottom Line

Bariatric surgery doesn’t affect the chances of pregnancy in a woman instead it helps obese women overcome some exiting pregnancy-related complications. Consult a doctor and discuss the bariatric surgery options you can follow.

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