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Can I Get Pregnant After Gastric Sleeve and Other Weight Loss Surgeries?

By Fernando Garcia on July 24, 2014

A sonagram image held in front of a woman's bellyOne reason that so many patients come to the Tijuana practice of Dr. Fernando Garcia is his commitment to total wellness and patient education. As you've noticed on this blog, we've extensively looked at the effectiveness and benefits of gastric sleeve surgery, which can help patients lose weight quickly and safely. Many of our patients wonder about pregnancy and childbirth after a gastric sleeve has been performed. Let's go into this issue right now.

Why Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery Can Be a Major Concern

Many patients who undergo weight loss surgery wonder if the changes in diet will have a major impact on the health of their child as it's developing. Indeed, the reduced caloric intake and caloric absorption is the most common concern for women who would like to have a child as this can potentially have an affect on fetal development.

There are also concerns about the effects of the surgery on other systems of the body, i.e., if surgery on the stomach will somehow affect reproductive health or other parts of the lower body and abdominal region.

Can women who've undergone bariatric surgery become pregnant?

Yes.

Even though the above concerns are important to consider, it is possible for women to become pregnant after bariatric surgery and to give birth to healthy babies as well.

How Long to Wait After Weight Loss Surgery Before Becoming Pregnant

In general, women should wait at least 18 months after weight loss surgery before attempting to get pregnant. This will give the body time to adjust to the new diet and lifestyle needs and to level out in terms of weight loss. Waiting two years may be most ideal since weight loss will have mostly leveled out by this point and the patient will have made a full adjustment to the lifestyle changes that go along with surgery.

With that said, there are a few things that patients should keep in mind when they become pregnant.

Careful Monitoring of Nutrition Is Crucial for Your Baby's Health

Nutritional deficiencies can occur in weight loss surgery patients as they adjust to their new diet, and so it's important for pregnant women to carefully keep track of their caloric intake as well as their intake of essential vitamins and minerals (e.g., B vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, etc.). Proper hydration is also crucial during pregnancy.

It's helpful for patients to meet with a nutritionist to have these issues addressed and to design a healthy diet plan that will meet the needs of the mother and the baby as well. Letting your OB/GYN know about your situation is also a good idea as certain considerations may be adjusted given the nature of the weight loss surgery.

A C-Section Is More Likely After Weight Loss Surgery

Research has found that women who have undergone bariatric surgery are more likely to have a c-section if they become pregnant. The actual medical reason for this have yet to be determined through scientific research, but it's important to consider as a possibility as your child develops or if you are considering having children.

What if I get pregnant only a few months after weight loss surgery?

Should this occur, do not worry. It is still possible to have a healthy child if you get pregnant within 18 months of surgery.

Of course, the pregnancy may be more challenging since additional attentiveness will be required with regard to nutrition and general wellness as you adjust to your new post-surgical lifestyle, but this attentiveness will just ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Notable: Weight Loss Surgery May Improve Your Fertility and Your Baby's Health

Undergoing weight loss surgery has actually been shown to boost female fertility and improve chances of natural conception. As a woman loses weight, this tends to address various obesity-related health problems that may result in infertility. In addition, these obesity-related health problems are less likely to affect the health of a child as it develops.

Learn More About Weight Loss Surgery

For more information about gastric sleeve surgery and how it can have a positive impact on your overall health and wellness, be sure to contact our bariatric surgery center today. Dr. Fernando Garcia looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve a more ideal weight and great general health in the process.

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Dr. Garcia is awesome. I chose bariatrics vertical sleeve surgery. I've lost 85 lbs. since January 2017. No complications... I regret not doing this years ago. Debbie M.

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