Can I Get Pregnant After Weight Loss Surgery?
Nowadays number of women undergoing weight-loss surgery is increasing, and more over women of childbearing age(women who are planning for pregnancy) are also undergoing this surgery. Is it safe or even possible to get pregnant after that? What is the waiting period? Are there any precautions you need to take to ensure a healthy pregnancy and childbirth after surgery?
Weight loss surgery is becoming increasingly popular in India because of its effectiveness in treating obesity and reducing comorbidity. New studies show the benefits of weight loss surgery for women who plan to become pregnant. Pregnancy is usually much safer and easier for both a mother and a child after weight loss surgery. Besides, weight loss surgery before pregnancy, can increase fertility, reduce pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and high blood pressure, and reduce a woman’s excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
Most women who become pregnant after weight loss surgery experience uncomplicated pregnancy. However, since the surgery can change the way your body absorbs nutrients; you have to wait at least 12 months before you get pregnant. When you are pregnant, you need to take extra precautions to ensure you get all the nutrients you need.
Read the article provided by Dr Venu Gopal Pareek contains everything you need to know about pregnancy after weight loss surgery.
Is pregnancy safe after weight loss surgery?
Yes, women with a higher BMI are more likely to experience complications such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and babies with overweight at birth. Weight loss after surgery can reduce this risk and help you have a safer pregnancy.
Pregnancy after this operation can be safe and healthy if appropriately managed by you and your Obstetrician. Obese women may have difficulty getting pregnant. If you lose weight after surgery, your hormones return to more natural levels, and your fertility can increase. It means you can start ovulating regularly, which will make your pregnancy more comfortable. Weight loss can also decrease the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) by increasing your fertility and therefore, your chances of getting pregnant accidentally increase if you don’t use contraception.
Talk to a Doctor:
You need to talk to your doctor as soon as you find out that you are pregnant to get the best advice. It includes your Obstetrician and weight loss surgery doctors. If you are not in touch with a weight loss surgeon, you can ask the Obstetrician if you should contact them again.
Your treatment must be based on the type of surgery you have done and the time of surgery. If it’s been more than 18 months, you might need to follow the usual pregnancy tips for eating healthy and exercising. If your operation was performed less than 12 months ago, you need more specific advice.
Wait 18 months before you get pregnant:
Women have to wait 18 months after weight loss surgery before becoming pregnant. It is the time frame when you experience the most significant weight loss, and this is the most challenging time to meet your own nutritional needs. If you become pregnant during this period of rapid weight loss, essential nutrients are being taken away from your growing baby, which results in low birth weight and possibly malnutrition for you and your baby.
At 18 months, you might reach a stable weight and be able to feed your baby adequately. Most surgeons advise women of childbearing age to use reliable contraception during this waiting period because unplanned pregnancy is a very real possibility.
Closely Monitor your nutrition intake:
After any weight loss surgery, you need a pregnancy-specific vitamin and mineral supplement. Make sure you talk to your weight loss surgery doctor about the diets and supplements you consume. Even 18 months after surgery, your nutritional deficit during pregnancy can be a problem. It can be worse if you experience nausea or morning sickness, which can prevent you from eating. If this is the case, you have to talk to your surgeon or Obstetrician about nausea medication that you can take if you are pregnant.
It is essential to pay attention to vitamins and minerals before and during pregnancy to give you and your baby excellent support. The most common nutrient deficiency during pregnancy are:
- Folic acid
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
Even though you should have taken a multivitamin, you should switch to prenatal vitamins before pregnancy because they contain many of the essential nutrients mentioned above. Make sure the Obstetrician knows that you have undergone a weight-loss operation so that they can check your vitamin levels and notify you if additional supplements are needed. You are also advised to contact a nutritionist to plan your meal. Make sure you get enough nutrition during pregnancy. You can benefit from eating a few small meals throughout the day to increase nutrient absorption.
Avoid being overweight during pregnancy:
The best way to avoid being overweight is to eat healthy foods during pregnancy. Food cravings, nausea and food dislikes can make this a challenge. You might fall into a trap if you think you have to eat for two and eat more than you need. You can discuss all these issues with a nutritionist to develop a healthy eating plan with good food choices.
Regular exercise also helps you avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy. One of the most significant emotional effects of pregnancy after weight loss surgery is from body image. You worked hard to lose weight, and now you must feel comfortable with the idea of increasing weight again. Pregnancy can be a stressful time, and some people also tend to eat more when they are stressed.
Also, eating during pregnancy must be avoided because this can have serious nutritional consequences for your growing baby, as mentioned earlier.
Precautions after weight loss surgery:
- Wait 18 months after surgery before you get pregnant.
- Use contraception during this waiting period.
- Make sure your nutritional needs are met.
- Perform routine blood tests to check for nutritional deficiencies.
- Consult with a nutritionist to control weight gain during pregnancy.
We hope this article gave you some information about pregnancy after weight loss surgery. Many women can have healthy and successful pregnancies after bariatric surgery. You only need to have correct medical advice to have a successful and healthy pregnancy after weight loss surgery.
Dr Venu Gopal Pareek offers weight-loss procedures, and he is a highly experienced and qualified bariatric surgeon who has undergone intensive specialist training. Dr Venu Gopal Pareek has a multidisciplinary team and who work together to provide the best plan of action for you. It includes nutritionists who meet with you and develop individual nutrition plans, as well as trained nurses who accompany you on your journey to support and advise you in achieving your goals.