Keeping Fit While Pregnant[/caption]As unfortunately obesity is not uncommon among U.S. citizens, weight loss surgeries are becoming a more attractive option, even among young women who are planning on becoming pregnant at a later date. There are two basic types of weight loss surgery, but in order to be eligible for such a procedure patients have to fulfill several criteria, basically because the procedure can have long term consequences, like for example affecting a future pregnancy.
What can I expect?
First of all patients need to understand that after gastric bypass surgery their body will suffer major changes, including rapid weight loss and nutritional instability. Getting pregnant in such a period can cause several complications. For instance if the mother is unable to absorb enough calories from food, the baby is likely to suffer from malnutrition. Things will become even worse if the woman is suffering from post-surgery nausea or severe morning sickness.
On the other hand getting pregnant soon after weight loss surgery is more likely especially if the woman has been suffering from obesity related fertility problems.
During the pregnancy there are also different issues to consider. For example many of these women are still at risk of developing hypertension of gestational diabetes even if they lost considerable weight. Other more serious complications can also occur affecting the mother’s health such as internal hernias or small bowel obstruction. Besides that pregnancy involves gaining weight soon after a stressful surgery and recovery period. In many cases the situation can cause emotional distress which is under no circumstances benefic for the baby.
Once the gestational period completed, future moms might face another difficulty. According to a study published in 2004 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women who underwent weight loss surgery are more likely to have a c-section delivery.
What should I do?
In order to avoid any potential complications in pregnancies following weight loss surgery here is some useful advice any woman can follow:
• Do not perform weight loss surgery unless it is absolutely necessary, if you suffer from clinical obesity and no other methods are efficient
• Avoid getting pregnant in the first 18 months after surgery until your weight is stabilized and you resolved nutrient deficiencies
• If you do get pregnant make sure to tell your obstetrician about the surgery
• During pregnancy make sure to take enough vitamins and minerals especially iron, vitamin B12, calcium and vitamin D
• Perform light physical exercises like swimming and walking during pregnancy to prevent gaining excessive weight
• Make sure to gain enough weight for normal fetal development
As shown above weight loss surgery can be benefic for pregnancy but it also involves several issues. Therefore all women who underwent the surgery and are or intend to become pregnant are advised to openly discuss with their surgeon, health care provider and gynecologist about all their concerns and to closely follow their instructions.
– Dr. Jeremy Korman, is a board certified bariatric surgeon and the medical director of L.A. Bariatrics, a surgical weight loss clinic offering bariatric solutions for people struggling with extreme cases of obesity and associated health conditions. Located at Marina Del Rey Hospital in California L.A. Bariatrics serves multiple location across greater Los Angeles.