A gastric bypass surgery is known not only to help lose weight but also improve several chronic conditions such as hyperlipidemia, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, GERD, chronic pain, and even sleep disorders. Though there are many benefits of the procedure, there are important things you should know about pregnancy after gastric bypass; both positive and negative.
Benefits of gastric bypass
According to experts, having had a gastric bypass may improve pregnancy outcomes for the mother and baby, since the chances of obesity related complications are reduced. Chances of pregnancy compilations such as high blood pressure (preeclampsia), high blood sugar (gestational diabetes), and so on are lower after the surgery. Even babies may benefit from this and there is less chance of the baby being big for gestational age.
Women who had previously found it difficult to conceive because of obesity may start ovulating regularly for the first time in several years after the weight loss. Because of the normalization of ovulation, fertility gets a significant boost and getting pregnant becomes easier.
Precautions for pregnancy after gastric bypass
It is recommended that a woman wait for at least 18 months after the gastric bypass surgery to get pregnant. This is the minimum amount of time it will take for a woman’s weight and nutrition to stabilize after surgery. If these parameters are not stable, there could be problems for the fetus. And since fertility gets a boost after surgery, a woman needs to be careful about birth control as well.
Pregnancy nutrition will have to be closely monitored and nutritional supplements will likely be required to compensate for the lowered intake after surgery. This could be a particular problem because of morning sickness.
The risk of a cesarean section rises for women who have had a gastric bypass. It can also be difficult for women who have lost weight to have to regain weight. Body image and self esteem issues can arise when a woman who has lost weight with great difficultly is expected to regain at least some of that weight for the sake of her baby.
Any pregnancy after gastric bypass should be closely monitored by the doctor. Ideally the doctor should be fully conversant with the woman’s medical history including the details of her surgery. It may also be a good idea to consult with a nutritionist, who would advise about the best way to get enough nutrition and extra calories for pregnancy.