Pregnancy after Weight Loss Surgery

Weight Loss Surgery Guidelines for PregnancyWeight loss from bariatric surgery has been shown to decrease risks associated with obesity during pregnancy. If you are planning to become pregnant following your weight loss surgery here are some guidelines to help ensure not only a healthy baby but a healthy mother, too.

Begin planning for your pregnancy at the time of your bariatric surgery. Speak with your weight loss surgeon and obstetrician early on concerning any plans for pregnancy after your surgery. Following your weight loss surgery, make sure to adhere to all medical and nutritional recommendations.

Pregnancy and Gastric Bypass

Depending on your individual case, it may take several years before your weight loss has stabilized as different women have different amounts of weight to lose. In general, if you are a patient of gastric bypass surgery or another malabsorptive procedure, you should wait at least 18 months before trying to conceive as this is the time when most rapid weight loss occurs.

Meeting nutritional needs during this period of rapid weight loss is challenging enough without the added matters of pregnancy. Rapid weight loss could potentially deprive a growing fetus of the nutrients its needs to develop and live. Nearly 20 percent of gastric bypass patients who become pregnant will experience nutritional complications and supplementation such as intravenous nutrition may be needed, especially during the third trimester.

However, the majority of gastric bypass patients will be able to consume enough nutrients to healthily support pregnancy.

Pregnancy and Gastric Banding

Gastric banding procedures such as LAP-BAND involve more gradual weight loss and therefore do not cause quite the same nutritional issues. Generally, women who have received surgery for LAP-BAND should wait approximately until their weight has stabilized before trying to become pregnant. .

During your pregnancy, the gastric band may be adjusted or deflated to help relieve uncomfortable symptoms experienced during pregnancy as a result of your gastric banding. Make sure to inform Dr. Bass if you’re experiencing any severe nausea or vomiting while pregnant as deflating the band may be needed to ease your symptoms.

Protection and Weight Loss

If you become pregnant prior to reaching your weight loss goal contact Dr. Bass as soon as possible. Becoming pregnant during your period of weight loss following your weight loss surgery may entail higher risks for a low birth weight baby or other health complications. As you begin to lose weight after your surgery, it often becomes easier for women to become pregnant. Speak with your weight loss surgeon or obstetrician to make sure you’re protected from pregnancy if you have not yet achieved your weight loss goals.

Weight loss surgery patients should pay just as much attention to their nutritional needs during pregnancy as those who have not had weight loss surgery. Your weight loss surgeon may recommend vitamin or mineral supplements to be taken while you’re pregnant. Work with Dr. Bass and your nutritionist to closely monitor your nutrient levels during pregnancy and don’t hesitate to ask them any questions you may have.