How Bariatric Surgery Effects Pregnancy
Choosing to undergo bariatric surgery is a life-changing decision, it’s not a quick-fix solution. Deciding on bariatric surgery affects not just your weight, but your ongoing lifestyle, eating, and nutrition habits.
A majority of bariatric patients are women, meaning there have been multiple studies and research conducted on pregnancy after bariatric surgery.
Can I Still Get Pregnant? Do I Need to Wait?
Yes–pregnancy is perfectly safe after bariatric surgery. You should wait until your weight stabilizes to get pregnant – typically 12 to 18 months, though some doctors might recommend waiting longer. No matter your health or medical background, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor when plan on becoming pregnant.
Should a Bariatric Patient Take Special Precautions When Pregnant?
Yes and no. How you eat after your bariatric surgery is undoubtedly different from before your surgery. Changing your eating habits once you become pregnant is much the same. Your body is supporting yourself and a growing baby, therefore you will need different nutrients to remain healthy. Your bariatric surgery might affect the way you absorb nutrients, in which case, you’ll need to be more vigilant.
On the other hand, women with a high BMI are typically at higher risk of pregnancy complications, so for some women, weight loss surgery will offer a safer pregnancy than if they did not have the surgery. It’s not just about your bariatric background, multiple issues might require additional attention during pregnancy. Again, it’s best to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Do I Need a Special Doctor?
It’s a good idea to find a doctor who specializes in bariatric mothers, but it’s typically not necessary. As bariatric surgery becomes more common in the United States, doctors have more experience with mothers who are also bariatric patients. While most women do not require additional support throughout pregnancy, the mother and baby should be monitored closely. Your doctor will help you navigate any nutritional or dietary supplements you might need to take. Again, these issues are not specific to bariatric patients and many doctors will be monitoring you and your baby’s nutrients regardless
When considering pregnancy after bariatric surgery, the main takeaway is to talk to your care team. Every pregnancy is different. The type of bariatric surgery you underwent will affect your pregnancy in different ways. Your medical history will also determine the type of care you should receive.
If you have any questions about life after bariatric surgery, contact the team at LifeWeigh Bariatrics.