A healthy weight is important for getting pregnant and ensuring normal course of pregnancy. If you are planning to undergo bariatric surgery, how can it affect a pregnancy?
Depending on the amount of weight that will be lost and the nature of recovery, it is recommended not to plan a pregnancy before 18–24 months have passed since the bariatric surgery. This is due to two reasons:
- Your body needs to recover – surgery is traumatic for the body and pregnancy and giving birth are stressful for the body as well.
- Time is needed for weight loss – it is easier to get pregnant at a healthier weight, this helps ensure a normal course of pregnancy and is better for the child’s health as well.
Bariatric surgery is not a cosmetic procedure, it involves a conscious choice to lead a healthier life. After the operation, both your body and mind will need some time to adapt to the new lifestyle and self-perception. This isn’t just about potential complications – even though pregnancy is a positive change, it is important that you are ready for it without any interfering challenges.
Excessive weight and pregnancy
Obesity poses risks to both the mother and the developing fetus and later on, the growing child as well. High BMI:
- makes it harder to get pregnant;
- can cause discomfort during the pregnancy (minor infections, high blood pressure, heartburn, headaches, etc.);
- can cause complications (requirement for a C-section, infections, birth traumas, etc.).
For the child, their mother’s obesity can cause:
- high birth weight,
- obesity or developmental problems in later life,
- birth defects.
Weight loss, which can be enabled by bariatric surgery, allows to mitigate those risks.
Bariatric surgery and its risks
Complications during pregnancy that are directly related to bariatric surgery are very rare, and can be made even rarer by a longer recovery period. Problems can arise mostly from lack of minerals or vitamins, which means that the baby will not be able to get those either. This, in turn, can lead to a low birth weight or premature birth.
It is vital to be mindful of your own nutrition and eating habits during pregnancy, making sure that you are getting all the necessary nutrients with your food or at least in the form of supplements. It is also important to talk to your doctor about this, so that you can map any potential problems and find best solutions to them.
It is smart to bring up the topic of pregnancy prior to surgery
We offer thorough consultation before every procedure so that we can discuss any questions regarding pregnancy among other topical matters. Bariatric surgery enables people to improve the quality of their lives and their health. Becoming a mother can be an integral part of your future well-being, so do not hesitate to ask for more information!