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Will I be able to get Pregnant after Bariatric Surgery?

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Weight loss is known to enhance fertility. Bariatric surgery can help you conceive if obesity was preventing you from getting pregnant.

It can also reduce the risk of certain problems related to pregnancy, such as:

  • Gestational diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Preeclampsia

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Get Pregnant After Bariatric Surgery?

  • The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)1 recommends that you wait for 12 to 18 months after weight loss surgery before you get pregnant.
  • In case you get pregnant immediately after surgery, there is likelihood that your baby may not get the required nutrients.
  • Check out these general guidelines on pregnancy post weight loss surgery.

Pregnant-Post-WLS

Deficiency of Nutrients After Bariatric Surgery

In your prenatal stage:

  • You may have to consult a dietitian to ensure all your nutritional needs are met.
  • You may be required to take extra vitamin and mineral supplementation as bariatric surgery may make it difficult for your body to absorb certain nutrients, such as calcium, iron and vitamin B12.

Gastric surgeries can cause nutritional deficiencies especially because there are a lot of food items that are prohibited and calorie intake is relatively reduced. Waiting for at least 12 months for pregnancy is essential, because:

  • Weight loss goals can be achieved by then.
  • The baby will not be deprived of nutrients due to sudden weight loss of the mother.
  • The calorie intake is increased significantly after a year or so.

It is essential to monitor the health status of the woman every trimester to keep a track of the level of nutrients. At times, supplements may have to be provided intravenously.

Weight Loss Surgery and Pregnancy Tests

  1. Blood test – Women with a history of weight loss surgery will have to undergo blood tests more frequently for regular checkup of nutrients such as protein, calcium, iron, ferritin, etc. and blood count.
  2. Glucose test – The liquid administered to examine glucose levels cannot be tolerated by women with altered stomachs. Therefore, such tests might not be performed on them. As mentioned by AAFP2, an alternative to this is home glucose monitoring.

Getting Pregnant After Weight Loss Surgery

Pregnancy and Weight Gain

Pregnancy can result in some weight gain which can be frustrating after having undergone bariatric surgery. But, with healthy practices, one can always get back in shape within 6 months after delivery. The amount of weight gained will be based on:

  • Weight at the time of pregnancy
  • BMI at the time of pregnancy
  • How far you are out from surgery

These days gynecologists have become more aware of the anatomical requirements of bariatric surgery patients.

Women who have undergone bariatric surgery are more likely to have a C-section delivery. The gynecologist will work in collaboration with the bariatric surgeon to avoid unforeseen circumstances.

Our Clients’ Experience With Pregnancy Post Gastric Sleeve and Bypass

  • Many of our clients have been successful in becoming pregnant post-surgery.
  • On an average, they waited for approximately one and half a year to get pregnant. Some of them have also delivered healthy babies after getting pregnant 12 weeks post-op.
  • Most of them were able to maintain their weight through a healthy lifestyle.

References:

  1. “Life After Bariatric Surgery.” ASMBS – American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, https://asmbs.org/patients/life-after-bariatric-surgery
  2. Carrie Armstrong. “ACOG Guidelines on Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery.” AAFP – American Family Physician, 2010, https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0401/p905.html
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An inspiring quote to help you in your weight loss journey:

Successful Weight Loss Motivational Quote

 

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