As the number of people having weight loss surgery grows, more and more women of childbearing age will undergo such surgeries. There are many important questions to be answered regarding women’s health (fertility, contraception and pregnancy)
After weight loss surgery, your body goes through potentially stressful changes and significant nutritional disturbance, which can cause problems for a growing baby. So, you should wait 12 to 18 months (until your weight almost becomes stable) before getting pregnant so that your baby is not affected by rapid maternal weight loss and you can achieve your weight-loss goals.
If pregnancy occurs before this recommended time, closer observation of maternal weight and nutritional status may be beneficial, and serial ultrasound monitoring of fetal growth should be considered.
Protein, iron, folate, calcium, and vitamins B12 and D are the most common nutrient deficiencies after weight loss surgery especially gastric bypass surgery.
Evaluation for deficiencies of these nutrients should be considered at the beginning of pregnancy, and treatment should be initiated if any deficits are present. If no deficits are noted, a complete blood count and measurement of iron, ferritin, calcium, and vitamin D levels every trimester should be considered. This also requires eating several small meals throughout the day, nutritionist consultation and taking additional vitamin supplements.
Women who become pregnant after weight loss surgery need to make sure they are getting enough of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
At any time, with pregnancy, early consultation with a weight loss surgeon is critical to determine whether the gastrointestinal problems that are common in pregnancy (e.g., nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain) are related to the surgery.
Women who have undergone gastric banding before pregnancy may have trouble tolerating prenatal vitamins. They may develop heartburn or the prenatal vitamin may remain in their esophagus where it can cause ulcers. So, it is recommended to take chewable or liquid prenatal vitamins to avoid these unpleasant situations.
- Pregnancy diabetes.
- High blood pressure and Preeclampsia
- Large babies
Actually, becoming pregnant after weight loss surgery is less risky than becoming pregnant while still obese.