Many women feel that a pregnancy after a bariatric weight loss surgery can be unsafe and risky.
This is far from the truth. In fact, for most women, pregnancy is healthier and safer after the weight loss surgery.
However, this does not mean that bariatric surgery patients do not need to take special care and precautions when they get pregnant. Here are certain important considerations for bariatric surgery during a pregnancy:
Waiting 18 months to get pregnant
The safest period to get pregnant is 18 months after the surgery, when the body weight has completely stabilized. However, this doesn’t mean that if you get pregnant before the 18-month period, there is any danger to your baby’s health. Some women are able to have healthy pregnancies even before 12 months.
Bariatric surgery doesn’t have any connection to the body part where the baby is nurtured. The only issue is rapid weight loss, which can cause malnutrition in the baby as well as the mother. This is why doctors recommend a period of 18 months.
Monitoring Nutrient Intake
Even after the initial period after the surgery, women experience nutritional deficiency. The deficiency is mainly related to calcium, vitamin D, iron and B12. Some women may even experience fat mal-absorption and protein-calorie malnutrition.
It also becomes difficult to consume nutrients because of nausea during pregnancy; this is why it is important to strictly monitor the nutrient intake. Consulting a clinical nutritionist would be a good idea.
Informing the obstetrician/gynecologist
Bariatric surgery is still relatively uncommon. Many health care providers do not know how to deal with bariatric patients.
This is why it is always recommended to inform all the health care providers, especially the obstetrician-gynecologist, when a bariatric patient decides to get pregnant. This ensures that everyone is on board, and have enough time to do their research and provide appropriate health care.
Dealing with the emotional effects
Emotional effects of pregnancy are well-known, but for bariatric patients the affects may multiply. This is because women are unable to cope with the idea that their body will start to grow again. Some scars from the surgery may also not look good when the body grows, which can lead to self-consciousness.
To cope with the emotional effects, women need to think what’s best for the baby, rather for themselves. Consulting a psychologist can also be of immense help.
Having a C-section
Bariatric patients are more likely to have C-section, so it is recommended to consult with the health care provider. It is not known why this is the case, but women should be ready and plan for it accordingly.
However, a C-section can be avoided by strictly following doctor’s weight gain diet plans and taking childbirth prep classes.
Rest assured, a healthy pregnancy is completely normal after a bariatric surgery only if proper care is taken. This is why we provide patients with the reliable and experienced surgeons across the border in Mexico. Visit our website to learn more.
Allow the bariatric experts to help you if you need support. Please reach out every opportunity you get with every question that you have – it’s not just our work to assist you. We celebrate in seeing you succeed.
If you have a regain or a stall, you can reach out to the “Bariatric Food Experts” for the BARIATRIC RESET PROGRAM.
About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Nutritionist and Bariatric Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric patients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two teens, husband and two furry friends.
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