Pregnancy after Gastric Sleeve: What Should You Know
Gastric sleeve surgery is a popular weight loss option, and many women choose to get pregnant after the procedure. The timeline for recovery depends on various factors like the person’s weight, health, and age.
For example, after one week of the surgery, most people can walk around and do light activities like taking a shower.
Planning a pregnancy after weight loss surgery requires special care. If you’re considering pregnancy after gastric sleeve surgery, here are five things you should know:
1. You May Need To Wait 18 To 24 Months Before Getting Pregnant
After a gastric sleeve, most women must wait 18 to 24 months before getting pregnant. This waiting period is crucial because it gives your body time to heal and adjust to the new changes. Bariatric surgery will alter your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, so it’s essential to ensure your body gets everything it needs before trying to conceive.
2. You May Need To Take Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are important for all pregnant women, but they’re essential for women who have had weight loss surgery. These vitamins can help prevent congenital disabilities, including neural tube defects. Neural tube defects are birth defects of the brain and spine.
Prenatal vitamins also help your body absorb iron, which is essential for preventing anemia. Anemia can cause fatigue and other problems during pregnancy.
3. You May Need To Eat More Calories
During pregnancy, your body needs more calories and nutrients than usual. If you’ve had weight loss surgery, you will need to eat more calories than other pregnant women to ensure you and your baby get the nutrition you need.
For example, if you’ve had gastric bypass surgery, you may need to eat 300 to 500 calories daily during pregnancy. If you’ve had sleeve gastrectomy surgery, you may need to eat an additional 500 to 800 calories daily.
4. Understand the Risks
Getting pregnant after bariatric surgery requires a lot of precautions. Certain risks are associated with it, so you must always consult your doctor before getting pregnant. Some of the risks include the following:
-Gastric rupture: This is an infrequent but severe complication that can occur during pregnancy. It happens when the stomach muscles stretch and tear, causing the contents of the stomach to spill out into the abdominal cavity. This can lead to life-threatening infections.
-Malnutrition: This is a common complication in pregnant women who have had weight loss surgery. It occurs when the body doesn’t get enough nutrients, leading to problems such as anemia and low birthweight babies.
-Internal Hernias: These can occur when the intestines or other organs protrude through a weakness in the abdominal wall. They can cause pain and vomiting and may require surgery to correct them.
5. You May Need a C-Section
Due to the increased risk of gastric rupture, many women who have had weight loss surgery will need to have a c-section. It is best to consult our doctor see if a c-section is right for you.
Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital offers expert gastric sleeve surgery in Baltimore. Our bariatrics surgeons in Maryland have years of experience performing this type of procedure. If you plan on getting pregnant after weight loss surgery, our doctors can help you understand what to expect.