Gastric Bypass and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know
Excess weight can compromise physical health in many different ways. Numerous women experience fertility issues related to their weight. Gastric bypass reduces appetite and limits the amount of calories the body absorbs to encourage weight loss.
Whether a woman undergoes gastric bypass to lose weight and take control of her health or to increase her chances of becoming pregnant, there are things she needs to know if she is considering having a child. The doctors at Oasis of Hope Bariatrics in Tijuana, Mexico, can provide patients with an overview of gastric bypass and pregnancy: what you need to know about having a child after weight loss surgery.
Losing Weight Can Support a Healthy Pregnancy
One of the most common questions women ask before gastric bypass surgery is, “Is it safe to get pregnant after gastric bypass?” Pregnancy after weight loss surgery is safe, provided patients are aware of potential side effects and take steps to manage risks. Weight loss supports a healthy pregnancy, so women may be more likely to have a healthy pregnancy after gastric bypass than if they had become pregnant while overweight.
Women who are heavier than their ideal weight range are more likely to experience hormonal imbalances that affect fertility and make it more difficult to conceive. Losing weight can regulate the menstrual cycle and decrease the risk of health problems that make it harder to get pregnant. A healthy weight throughout pregnancy also decreases the risk of certain complications, such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
You Must Discuss Gastric Bypass With Your Medical Team
It is safe to get pregnant after gastric bypass, but there are some potential concerns. Patients must share their medical history, including any weight loss surgery, with their doctors. We recommend working with an obstetrician who has experience caring for patients who have undergone weight loss surgery and knows how to monitor for related complications.
Don’t Rush to Conceive After Gastric Bypass
It takes time for the body to be ready to support a pregnancy after a gastric bypass. Patients should recover from surgery and be within their ideal weight range before attempting to conceive. Each situation is unique, so patients should discuss timing with their doctor, but we recommend waiting between 18 and 24 months after gastric bypass to become pregnant.
Do Not Attempt to Lose Weight While Pregnant
It can be difficult for our Tijuana patients to shift their efforts away from weight loss, but they should not diet or attempt to lose weight while pregnant. Weight gain supports a healthy pregnancy and is natural as the baby grows. A bariatric dietician can help patients calculate their calorie intake goals throughout pregnancy and choose nutrient-rich food options to help meet those goals.
Be Cautious of Nutrient Deficiencies
Nutrient deficiencies are the most common risk of a post-gastric bypass pregnancy. Gastric bypass limits the stomach’s capacity and makes it harder for the body to absorb nutrients. In addition to prenatal vitamins, gastric bypass patients should take supplements such as protein, calcium, iron, folate, and vitamin B12 throughout their pregnancy. Their blood should be routinely screened so that any deficiencies can be addressed.
If your weight is making it difficult for you to conceive, you may be an ideal candidate for gastric bypass surgery. To learn about the benefits of gastric bypass and how it can affect your pregnancy journey, send us a message and request a consultation at our Tijuana bariatric center.