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Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery

Myths and misconceptions regarding a woman’s ability to conceive and carry a baby to term after bariatric surgery are prevalent. Although certain recommendations are valid, most notably that a woman should wait some time before trying to conceive, it is simply untrue that a woman cannot become pregnant. In fact, pregnancy after bariatric surgery is often safer, since some of the risks associated with obesity will naturally decrease. The team at Tijuana Bariatric Center, located in Tijuana, Mexico, can provide additional information regarding your ability to conceive and give birth. The center's network of doctors puts patient safety first, and can help you make informed decisions in your care.

Happy couple looking at results of pregnancy test
Bariatric patients should generally wait 18-24 months before becoming pregnant after surgery.

How Long Should I Wait?

The Obesity Action Coalition recommends that patients wait between 18 and 24 months following bariatric surgery before becoming pregnant. Before this time has passed, patients often experience increased emotional and physical stress, along with a major reduction in both vitamins and nutrients, which can be harmful to the health of a growing baby. By waiting up to two years, a patient’s weight should have stabilized, meaning she should be in overall better health. Although lifestyle changes, like a healthier diet, should come more naturally at this point, your doctor may still recommend beginning or increasing certain supplements.

Waiting to become pregnant until after bariatric surgery is often safer, since some of the risks associated with excess weight will naturally decrease.

Will I Gain the Weight Back?

While gaining the weight back during pregnancy is a concern for many patients, it is perfectly normal. Even for patients who have not undergone bariatric surgery, sufficient weight gain is necessary to ensure the health of the baby. Once the baby is born, and as long as the patient has successfully adapted to a healthier lifestyle including diet and exercise changes, her weight should eventually stabilize again.

Is There an Increase in Risks?

There will always be some degree of risk associated with pregnancy. However, it is often safer to carry a child following bariatric surgery, as opposed to being an obese mother. Carrying excess weight during pregnancy can increase the child's risk of certain defects, such as heart defects and spina bifida. Becoming pregnant after your weight loss has stabilized, however, can be healthier both for yourself and your baby.

Benefits of achieving a healthy body mass index (BMI) before becoming pregnant or trying to conceive carries several benefits:

  • Decreased risk of maternal complication rates
  • Lower risk of developing high blood pressure
  • Often cures infertility
  • Less likely that the child will become obese
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular issues in babies
  • Better neonatal outcomes

By committing to leading a healthier lifestyle, most patients find that waiting until after surgery to become pregnant is a smart decision. 

Contact Us for More Information

If you are considering weight loss surgery but still would like to start or add to your family, please send us a message or give us a call at (800) 970-0577. The experienced team at Tijuana Bariatric Center will be happy to assist you with any questions, concerns, or inquiries you may have.

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