• By Dana Sparks

Women’s Wellness: Pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery

June 7, 2018

a pregnant women being examined at a doctor appointment with a stethoscope

Pregnancy after gastric bypass can be safe and healthy. Research suggests pregnancy after the mother has weight-loss surgery might be safer than having a pregnancy that could be complicated by obesity.

While more research is needed, studies suggest that weight-loss surgery before pregnancy might protect women and their babies from obesity-related problems during pregnancy, including gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. The latter features high blood pressure and potential organ damage – often the kidneys – after 20 weeks of pregnancy

If you have had weight-loss surgery and are considering pregnancy, consult your health care provider for help with planning before conception. You also might consult a registered dietitian nutritionist and your gastric bypass surgeon for advice on nutrition and weight gain during pregnancy.

Experts typically recommend postponing pregnancy until your weight stabilizes — typically at least 12 to 18 months after surgery. Some experts recommend waiting longer.

Rapid or persistent weight loss might deprive a growing baby of important nutrients, leading to low birth weight. To monitor your baby's growth, your health care provider might recommend a fetal ultrasound during the third trimester.

After considering the type of weight-loss surgery and your specific nutritional needs, your health care provider might also recommend certain nutritional supplements, such as folic acid, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, iron and calcium, in addition to a daily prenatal vitamin before and during pregnancy.

This article is written by Mayo Clinic staff with Dr. Yvonne Butler Tobah. Find more health and medical information on mayoclinic.org.

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