Pregnancy After Bariatric SurgeryheadingContent

Posted on September 12, 2014

Pregnant woman drinking water and listening to music standing on a beachAs a bariatric surgeon, I am frequently asked about the effects of bariatric surgery on pregnancy. Current research provides great information about obesity, infertility, and the health of babies after surgery and weight loss.

Obesity & Infertility

Obesity is a major cause of infertility. This can be reversed by bariatric surgery. Most women that lose weight after surgery see a return of normal ovulatory circles and spontaneous pregnancy. We recommend waiting 12 to 18 months in order to avoid potential nutritional deficiencies. This can sometimes be a challenge, as women are often unaware of the return of fertility, leading to unexpected pregnancies.

The Effects of Bariatric Surgerypregnant woman eating a salad

Another important benefit observed is that the incidence of pregnancy-induced hypertension (high blood pressure) and gestational diabetes is reduced to the same rate as that of healthy-weight women. We recommend that bariatric patients who become pregnant consult with an obstetrician specializing in this kind of pregnancy, so we can improve the chances of a successful outcome.

Bariatric Surgery and Healthy Babies

Although it has been reported that pregnancy after surgery often leads to low-birth-weight babies, it is now demonstrated that these babies are healthy babies that will grow up without complications. In fact, when compared to babies born to obese women prior to surgery, babies born after surgery grow to have fewer incidences of childhood obesity and lower blood sugar levels.

So in Summary: Great News for Our Patients!

With appropriate care and supervision, weight loss surgery helps many women achieve their dreams of motherhood. Furthermore, newborn babies can benefit from the healthy effects of a safer, less complicated pregnancy after surgery and subsequent weight loss, which current research suggests can even provide long lasting effects that extend beyond childhood.