Women who have have weight-loss surgery should wait at least a year to get pregnant doctors say. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ACOG, say nutritional deficiencies that occur during the first year after bariatric surgery could affect the growing baby.
Some studies have shown an increased risk of premature birth in women, who have had bariatirc surgery and gotten pregnant within one year of the surgery. After bariatric surgeries, such as gastric bypass surgery, women are more likely to be deficient in iron, vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D and calcium. All of these nutrients are important during pregnancy for both mother and child. Because of these issues, doctors say women should still be considered high-risk and “strongly advised” not to get pregnant for 12 to 18 months according to BBC News.
Obesity rates are expected to rise to 28 percent by 2015 in women of childbearing age. With the rise in obesity rates, bariatric surgery is expected to rise as well. In the US, half of all bariatric surgeries performed between 2003 and 2005 were women between the ages of 18 to 45. Obesity increases the risk for many pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes. Previous studies have shown that pregnancy after bariatric surgery is safer than pregnancy in morbidly obese women according to My Health News Daily.
Researchers have found that 79 percent of women who got pregnant after bariatric surgery had no pregnancy complications. But there can be complications for a gastric band to slip or move during pregnancy which would cause severe vomiting and require surgery.
Rahat Khan, consultant obstetrician and gynecologist at Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Harlow, Essex, and co-author of the review, said this issue was affecting an increasing number of women of childbearing age. According to BBC News, Khan said:
“In light of current evidence available, pregnancy after bariatric surgery is safer, with fewer complications, than pregnancy in morbidly obese women.”
Daghni Rajasingam, of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:
“It is important that women are aware of the increased risk of maternal and fetal complications associated with obesity, and they should be advised about the possible strategies to minimise them prior to conception,” according to BBC News.
The review was published in The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist journal.