Obesity can have an impact on one’s ability to conceive. Research suggests that the higher your BMI (body mass index), the longer it takes for a woman to conceive.

Being obese can also pose serious health issues for the mother and the baby. It increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, gestational diabetes, cardiac dysfunction, sleep apnea, and the need for C-section and its potential complications.

This is why obese women are recommended to lose weight if they want to conceive healthily. However, this isn’t easy for everyone.

For those who have failed attempts to lose weight through traditional means (i.e. exercise and diet), bariatric surgery is highly recommended. Our Bariatric Surgeon, Dr. Mark Colquitt of Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville, TN, wants you to understand your options for bariatric surgery that will give you a better outcome for conceiving.

Bariatric Surgery and Pregnancy Outcomes
Bariatric surgery is an effective weight loss tool. It’s the only weight loss solution recommended by doctors for morbidly obese patients who are struggling to lose weight.

Losing weight before pregnancy increases one’s chance of becoming pregnant. Studies have also shown that weight loss before pregnancy may lower the risks of women and their babies’ of obesity-related problems. This includes gestational diabetes, blood pressure disorders, postpartum hemorrhage, newborns who are large for their gestational ages, and Cesarean delivery.

Pregnancy after weight loss surgery
Many women wonder if it’s safe to get pregnant after weight loss surgery. The answer is yes, it’s safe to get pregnant after weight loss surgery. However, it is recommended that you wait for at least 12 to 18 months after surgery and once your weight has stabilised before getting pregnant.

Post-surgery diet and pregnancy
Pregnancy after weight loss surgery involves multidisciplinary care. It’s important that you talk to your bariatric team and OB/midwife to find out the kind of vitamin supplements you need. Pregnancy-specific vitamin and mineral supplements vary, depending on the bariatric procedure you had.

When it comes to the amount of food, you don’t need to eat extra food during the first two trimesters as the baby takes what they need for growth from you. However, in the third trimester, you may need extra 200 calories.

Weight gain concerns during pregnancy
Weight gain is different for everyone during pregnancy. You may gain some weight, but you have to take into account that this weight gain can be due to many factors including the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby, the placenta, and the increase in size of your breasts, muscles, and bones.

If this is an ongoing concern for you, it’s best to talk to your bariatric team. If you’re having a healthy, normal pregnancy, they may still recommend exercising. Exercise doesn’t just help you stay within a healthy weight range; it can also reduce the aches and pains during pregnancy and labor as well as reduce your risk of pregnancy-related complications.

You may also want to talk to your bariatric team to help you plan for healthy eating.

At Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville, TN, we offer ongoing support to all our bariatric patients. Before bariatric surgery, patients are required to watch our FREE online info session so they have a better understanding of the surgery process. You can register to watch the online seminar here.

Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons is part of Premier Surgical Bariatrics in Knoxville,Tennessee. Foothills is affiliated with the Fort Sanders Regional Center for Bariatric Surgery, part of Covenant Health Bariatric Services.