Dr.Chirag Thakkar

Pregnancy after Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, has become increasingly popular as a solution for people struggling with obesity. A significantly good number of bariatric surgical candidates are young females of the reproductive age group. Pregnancy after bariatric surgery is a major concern for them. While it has many benefits, such as improved quality of life and reduced risk of chronic diseases, it can also have implications for women who are considering pregnancy. So, for all such obvious reasons, all such patients do have concerns regarding their future pregnancy plans after bariatric surgery.

If your bariatric surgery has been done and you are considering becoming pregnant, then there are certain aspects to be paid attention to. In this article, we will discuss the effects of bariatric surgery on different phases and aspects of pregnancy like fertility and conception, special care required during pregnancy, delivery of baby, and post-pregnancy care. All these aspects are possibly affected by bariatric surgery and need special attention.

Fertility & conception after Bariatric surgery

  • Fertility & conception improves significantly after a Bariatric surgery because of significant and sustained weight loss and all the positive hormonal changes occurring in the body after a Bariatric surgery.
  •  The data suggests that of young females who are struggling with infertility, about 40-45 per cent of them are obese and all these females are likely to benefit in terms of improved fertility with a Bariatric surgery.
  • The only precaution that we need to take is that we should postpone pregnancy till the initial 2 years after bariatric surgery for obvious concerns about the nutrition of the mother and baby.
  • The pregnancy has to be planned after 2 years of Bariatric surgery and extra care has to be taken in terms of managing contraception during the initial 2 years after Bariatric surgery.
  • Because of a long struggle with infertility, it is very likely that such patients are likely to take contraception a little less seriously because they don’t expect to conceive.
  • But this is the wrong way. And a lot of patients accidently get pregnant after Bariatric surgery, when they are not expecting to get pregnant.
  • So, contraception after Bariatric surgery has to be taken very seriously for initial 1.5-2 years because we don’t want a post Bariatric patient to get pregnant during the initial phase when the weight loss is still going on.


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Progression of pregnancy and care after Bariatric surgery

In a post Bariatric patient, pregnancy would progress just like pregnancy would progress in any other pregnant lady who has not undergone surgery. 

The only difference would be that we may need to be a little more aggressive in terms of additional monitoring and care during pregnancy. Women who have had bariatric surgery may require additional support to ensure they are getting the nutrients they need. This may include regular monitoring of vitamin, iron, and mineral levels.

Women who have had bariatric surgery are more likely to have a healthy weight gain during pregnancy and a lower risk of gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and preterm delivery.

So, the precaution you need to take is that your gynaecologist should be aware of your bariatric surgery so that they can take that matter into consideration.

Also, your bariatric team should be informed and involved in your pregnancy journey. So that they can suggest an elaborate evaluation of your nutritional status and they can give their input in terms of vitamin supplementations. Otherwise, the other aspects of pregnancy remain the same as any other pregnant lady who has not undergone any bariatric surgery.

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Delivery and Childbirth after Bariatric Surgery

The final stage of pregnancy that is the delivery of the baby is in no way affected by Bariatric surgery. With proper medical management, many women who have undergone bariatric surgery can have healthy pregnancies and deliveries.

The delivery of the baby is not impacted by Bariatric surgery and is like any

Follow up with your bariatric team

another pregnant lady. In terms of delivery, for some women who have had bariatric surgery, whether the pregnancy should end with a normal delivery or cesarean section it will depend upon the other aspects of your health and your pregnancy. It’s essential for women who have had bariatric surgery to have their nutrient levels closely monitored during pregnancy, and they may need to take supplements to ensure adequate nutrition for both themselves and their developing baby.

Research has shown that babies born to women who have had bariatric surgery are less likely to have a high birth weight, which can also reduce the risk of complications during delivery.

Both normal delivery and cesarean section are absolutely fine and can proceed normally after Bariatric surgery and no specific concern or care is needed apart from what is normally done for any pregnant lady.

Post-Pregnancy Care after Bariatric Surgery

After undergoing bariatric surgery, it is important for women to receive appropriate post-pregnancy care to ensure a healthy recovery and optimal outcomes. Here are some guidelines for post-pregnancy care after bariatric surgery:

Follow up with your bariatric surgical team

It is important to schedule a follow-up appointment with your bariatric surgical team after delivery to evaluate your weight and nutritional status, and to adjust your diet and exercise routine as needed. Also ensuring post Bariatric patients that they’ll lose weight that they have gained during pregnancy in an appropriate manner is of major concern.

Monitor your nutritional intake 

Bariatric surgery can reduce the absorption of certain nutrients, so it is important to monitor your nutritional intake during pregnancy and post-pregnancy. Your Nutritionist may recommend supplements such as iron, calcium, and vitamin D to ensure adequate nutrition for you and your baby.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise can help to promote weight loss, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and other complications. However, it is important to consult with your bariatric surgical team before starting or continuing an exercise routine after bariatric surgery

Practice good self-care

After undergoing bariatric surgery and giving birth, it is important to practice good self-care to promote physical and mental well-being. This may include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, practicing stress-reducing activities, and seeking support from friends, family, and healthcare providers.

By working closely with your healthcare provider, taking your supplements, eating a healthy diet, monitoring your weight gain, and staying active, you can ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. If you are considering pregnancy after bariatric surgery, be sure to talk to your Bariatric surgical team to develop a plan that is right for you.