Will Weight Loss Surgery Affect My Pregnancy?

pregnant woman and doctor

Are you hoping to start a family in the future? You might be filled with excitement at the idea of chasing after your toddlers and teaching them how to walk, run, and play. This is a time when many women start to closely consider their own health and how it might affect their ability to get pregnant, and if they’ll be able to keep up with energetic kids. If you’re struggling with your weight and experience weight-related health issues, you may be thinking about how you can take control of your weight and health before taking the next step into parenthood. If your BMI is 30 or higher, it’s especially important to lose weight before starting a family. You may want to consider weight loss surgery, like the gastric sleeve procedure or LAP-BAND System to help you lose weight and keep it off. SmartShape Weight Loss Centre in Toronto, Ontario, can help you on your weight loss journey.


How Will Being Overweight Affect My Pregnancy?

While some weight gain is normal during pregnancy, being very overweight before getting pregnant can cause health problems and complications. [1]  To protect your health, it’s important to adopt a healthy lifestyle before and during your pregnancy, which includes a healthy diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight. Being obese during your pregnancy may result in serious health issues, such as:

  • Gestational diabetes: Developing gestational diabetes results in a higher risk of having diabetes in the future – for both you and your children. It also increases the risk of needing a C-section when giving birth.
  • Preeclampsia: This is a serious blood pressure disorder that can cause your liver and kidneys to fail. It can also lead to seizures, or in rare cases, stroke. Preeclampsia can put you and your baby at risk, and may result in your baby needing to be delivered early.
  • Sleep apnea: This occurs when you stop breathing for a short amount of time while sleeping. Sleep apnea can cause fatigue and result in more serious conditions, such as heart and lung disorders, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia.


How Will Being Overweight Affect My Baby’s Health?

Being overweight during your pregnancy can also cause health problems for your baby, or make a full-time pregnancy more difficult. [2]  Some issues include:

  • Miscarriage: Being very overweight during your pregnancy can result in a higher risk of pregnancy loss.
  • Birth defects: Babies born to obese mothers are at greater risk of birth defects, such as neural tube and heart defects.
  • Preterm delivery: Certain health conditions associated with being overweight while pregnant, such as preeclampsia, can result in a preterm delivery. A preterm delivery means your baby will be born before they’re fully developed, which can cause other serious health issues.
  • Stillbirth: Being obese is correlated with an increased risk of stillbirth.
  • Macrosomia: This is when the baby is bigger than average and has a larger amount of body fat. This can cause a higher risk of problems during birth and may result in a C-section needing to be performed. Babies born with a higher amount of body fat are also more likely to be overweight when they’re older.


Should I Have Bariatric Surgery Before My Pregnancy?

If you are overweight or obese, losing excess weight can make becoming pregnant easier and result in a healthier pregnancy. For some women, diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to lose stubborn pounds and achieve a healthy weight. Bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery, may be an option to help you become a healthy weight before your pregnancy. Weight loss surgery options include the mini gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and Lap-Band™ (gastric band) surgery.


When Can I Become Pregnant After Bariatric Surgery?

As weight loss surgery causes you to lose weight over time, it’s recommended that you wait one to two years after your weight loss surgery to begin family planning. Becoming pregnant when you’re still losing weight after surgery is not recommended. You may not be eating enough while you’re still losing weight to ensure the baby is getting enough nutrition. However, once your weight has stabilized, it’s safe to become pregnant.


Will My Prenatal Care Be Different After Weight Loss Surgery?

Weight loss surgery will not negatively affect your health or your baby’s health. Reaching a healthy weight before becoming pregnant will greatly decrease the risk of health complications associated with obesity for you and your baby. Weight loss surgery is a safe option to help you lose weight before you begin planning a family.

Your prenatal care after weight loss surgery will be similar to most pregnant women. You should see your doctor regularly for prenatal care and you may want to see a dietician to ensure you’re getting the right amount of nutrition. A nutritional supplement containing B-vitamins, calcium, and iron is often recommended. Follow the advice of your medical provider.


Lose Excess Weight and Have a Healthy Pregnancy with SmartShape  

If you’re struggling to lose weight and are considering family planning in the future, SmartSmart Weight Loss Centre in Toronto, Ontario can help you achieve a healthy weight. We offer weight loss surgery in Toronto, Ontario and work with men and woman across Canada to help them achieve their weight loss goals. Our surgical weight loss options include mini gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and Lap-Band™ (gastric band) surgery.

SmartShape is unique because we are Canada’s first weight loss surgery centre accredited as a Bariatric Center of Excellence. We offer all patients access to our exceptional five-year AfterCare Success Program with our registered nurses and dieticians. As part of our AfterCare Success Program, you’ll have access to our entire clinician team for 5 years after your surgery to ensure you reach your goals and stay on track.  To learn more about your surgical weight loss options, schedule a virtual consultation with our expert weight loss surgeon and find the best option for your unique needs.


Further reading:

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18824817/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4862374/