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Pregnancy after bariatric surgery

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JOCELYN HAS BEEN FEATURED ON:

The global epidemic of obesity and its rising prevalence among children has resulted in an enormous increase in the number of bariatric (weight loss) operations performed around the world.

My preference for any weight-loss program is always to assess for underlying conditions like hypothyroidism, and to guide through an exercise and dietary program (most often low-carbohydrate/ketogenic diets). My online fertility program specifically addresses best strategies for achieving optimal weight for pre-conception. However, I have recently had new patients come to my clinic post-bariatric-surgery wanting to consult about future fertility/pregnancy concerns.

My first concern post-surgery is still to understand underlying causes of obesity (both physiological and disordered eating patterns), to ensure we are not missing a critical component to long-term weight management. Another big priority for me is ensuring adequate nutrient status for general health in pregnancy, since bariatric surgery can be associated with low-birth-weight offspring.

As part of a pre-conception work-up post-bariatric surgery, I will always want to assess for iron-deficiency, B-12 deficiency, and Vitamin D deficiency with lab work, and if indicated support with intra-muscular, IV, or sublingual supplementation to improve absorption of these nutrients. These steps are in addition to focusing on nutrient-dense food intake to ensure adequate macro-nutrients to support a pregnancy given decreased digestive/intake capacity.

A new study from Israel has shown that personalized nutritional counselling – focused on protein intake, energy/calorie intake, and nutrient intake – contributed to higher birth weight of offspring of mothers who had had bariatric surgery pre-conception.

This is encouraging news indeed for mothers who are navigating their reproductive years post-bariatric surgery.

I hope you have found this helpful, and do let me know if you have any questions!

If you are hungry for more evidence-based information for your fertility or pregnancy journey, visit www.myhealthypregnancyplan.comfor free webinars and complete programs.

And if you are a care-provider looking for evidence-based resources for your fertility or pregnancy patients, please get in touch with us at support@myhealthypregnancyplan.com.

In health,

Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND

Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details.

References:

Araki, S. et al. (2022).Pregnancy after bariatric surgery: Effects of personalized nutrition counseling on pregnancy outcomes. Clinical Nutrition, 41(2): 288-297.

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