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Pregnancy after gastric bypass: Is it safe?

What can you tell me about pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery? I'm worried that my baby won't get enough nutrients since I won't be able to eat as much.

It's possible to have a safe and healthy pregnancy after gastric bypass surgery. In fact, research suggests that pregnancy after weight-loss surgery might be safer for both mother and baby than pregnancy complicated by obesity.

Although more research is needed, studies suggest that weight-loss surgery might protect obese women and their babies from obesity-related problems during pregnancy. Examples include gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and preeclampsia high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Timing is important, however. It's best to avoid pregnancy after weight-loss surgery until your weight stabilizes typically at least 12 months after surgery. Rapid or persistent weight loss might deprive a growing baby of important nutrients, leading to low birth weight.

If you've had weight-loss surgery and are considering pregnancy, consult your health care provider for preconception planning. Depending on the type of weight-loss surgery and your specific nutritional needs, your health care provider might 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.

You might also consult a registered dietitian for advice on nutrition and weight gain during pregnancy.

Updated: 6/6/2012

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