Pregnancy after weight loss surgery: What you need to know
Considering weight loss surgery to help you fulfill your dream of having a baby? Many women choose this option and for good reason. A healthy weight has a positive impact on a healthy pregnancy. But is it safe to become pregnant after weight loss surgery? Are there any risks, and how can you prepare for a healthy pregnancy? We’ll answer all of these questions in this blog.
Why weight loss surgery is a good option if you want to get pregnant
Many people with (morbid) obesity and severe overweight develop complications. Fertility problems are common. The risk of miscarriage is also higher. Because weight loss surgery reduces the amount of food you can eat and absorb, you lose weight. Hormones come back into balance, increasing fertility. In addition, a healthy weight increases the chances of (healthy) pregnancy. That’s why weight loss surgery is a suitable option if you have obesity and want a baby. Usually, a Gastric Sleeve is chosen because nothing changes in the intestines.
Is it safe to become pregnant after weight loss surgery?
Yes, it is safer than becoming pregnant if you are severely overweight. Obesity causes an imbalance in your body. This makes it more difficult to become pregnant. Also, severe overweight is associated with health risks for both mother and child such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and pre-eclampsia (pregnancy poisoning). In addition to miscarriages, the growth of the fetus can also deviate. That makes a pregnancy after surgery safer if you have achieved a healthy and stable weight. But, be aware to pay attention to the intake of vitamins and minerals.
What are the risks of pregnancy after surgery?
In addition to the advantages, there are also risks in becoming pregnant after weight loss surgery. Including an increased risk of pregnancy poisoning, premature birth, and lower birth weight. You also get fewer nutrients and absorb them less after the surgery. So you should be alert to deficiencies afterward, especially if you are pregnant. Because deficiencies can have unpleasant consequences for both you and your unborn child. That’s why we recommend starting with WLS Multivitamins during but preferably before pregnancy. Read more about multivitamins, deficiencies and pregnancy here.
Are extra nutrients needed during pregnancy?
If you are pregnant, you eat for 2. But how do you do that if you have had a stomach reduction? Well, it doesn’t mean you have to literally eat twice as much. When you are pregnant, you need about 300 extra kilocalories per day. More importantly, you need to get these calories from the right sources. Even after your surgery, it is all about getting the right nutrients such as protein, calcium, iron, omega-3 and less sugar. If you are doing it right, you’re already be aware of this. Now it is even more essential for the health of your baby.
What are the best ways to achieve a healthy pregnancy after weight loss surgery?
- Wait 12 to 18 months after the surgery before getting pregnant
- Make sure you are at a stable, healthy weight before getting pregnant. A desire for a child can be a great motivation to lose weight
- The risk of deficiencies is greater after a gastric bypass and during pregnancy. Therefore, start taking tailored multivitamins before the operation and pregnancy and keeptaking them during pregnancy
- Have your blood values checked every trimester to make sure if you are getting enough vitamins and minerals
- Do you want to get pregnant? Contact the hospital or clinic where you had surgery before the pregnancy. That way you can check on time if there are any risks or
Advice if you haven’t had surgery yet and want a child: many women with obesity are less fertile. Still pay attention, because the chance of pregnancy remains, even if you are still overweight. In addition, birth control can be less reliable after surgery.
Help, I’m gaining weight!
If you are pregnant, you will gain weight. That is normal, but we understand that it can feel extra stressful for you. After all, you didn’t lose all that weight. Know that gaining weight during pregnancy is natural. It is even good for the growth of your baby. Usually, you will lose those pregnancy kilos again.
Need help? Let us know
Are you worried or do you have questions about getting pregnant and your surgery? Let us know. Our dietitians are happy to help. Here you can contact us directly.