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Pregnancy after Weight-Loss Surgery

| Date Posted: 6/4/2012 | Author: Mandy McCue

Having a baby should be a happy time in a woman’s life. If the woman recently had weight-loss surgery, it could be a stressful time. Contrary to popular belief, it is safe to get pregnant after bariatric surgery: it just requires special attention.  Surgery, when it comes to pregnancy, can affect the body in a few different ways including a possible boost in fertility.

Obesity can cause women to become infertile or have problems with ovulation.  A study in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing found that woman with fertility problems linked to obesity that have had weight -loss surgery, can start ovulating regularly post-surgery. The same study also showed that weight-loss surgery can even improve fertility in women who have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Since weight-loss surgery can improve fertility, it is very important to remember to wait 18 months after surgery to start having children. Around 18 months is when the weight loss starts to level off and if a pregnancy is conceived prior to that 18 month mark, the baby and mother can risk malnutrition. Bariatric surgery patients encounter some nutritional deficiencies such as B12, iron, calcium, and vitamin D.
Because of these common deficiencies, even after the 18 months, it is important to regularly speak to a physician, obstetrician, or even a nutritionist about what vitamins are being taken so they can make sure the mother and baby are getting the right nutrients for proper growth.FirstHealth has Nutrition Services and a licensed dietician that is available for one-on-one nutritional counseling. For appointments and more information, call (910) 715-1835.
If you are contemplating weight-loss surgery and contemplating having a baby, be sure to talk to your physician. Depending on one’s health status, it may be safer for both mother and baby to wait to go through pregnancy post-surgery. Being overweight or obese can cause pregnancy complications including infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, high blood pressure and preeclampsia, or gestational diabetes. Being overweight or obese can also affect the baby by causing certain birth defects, preterm birth, injury during birth, or childhood obesity. (Source: March of Dimes)
Weight-loss surgery cannot eliminate the risk of pregnancy complications, but it can lower the risk. According to a study in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology women who had weight-loss surgery developed pregnancy-induced gestational diabetes at the same rate as a healthy-weight woman. Gestational diabetes affects approximately 18% of normal weight pregnancies, according to the American Diabetes Association.
If you are interested in weight-loss surgery you can attend one of our free bi-monthly bariatric surgery seminars on the first Thursday and the third Monday of every month.  Register for this free weight-loss surgery seminar today!FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in partnership with Pinehurst Surgical also offers comprehensive care when it comes to weight loss and weight-loss surgery. Our comprehensive Bariatric Surgical Program serves patients in the Pinehurst, Sanford, Raeford, Laurinburg, Lumberton, Troy and Rockingham regions of North Carolina and beyond. Call (800) 213-3284 with questions or for more information.

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