Pregnancy after gastric bypass: Is it safe?
Pregnancy after gastric bypass can be safe and healthy if managed well by you and your health care provider. In fact, research suggests that pregnancy after weight-loss surgery might be safer for both mother and baby than pregnancy 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
- Preeclampsia — high blood pressure and signs of damage to other organs, 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 might also consult a registered dietitian along with 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.