Pregnancy After Weight-Loss Surgery
Natasha Gittings is a Chicago-area doula who has worked with pregnant women for more than eight years. She’s also 25 weeks pregnant with her first child. Yet Gittings’ pregnancy experience has been a bit different that that of the many women she’s cared for—three years ago, she had gastric-bypass surgery to lose weight.
As weight-loss surgery becomes more common among women of childbearing age, Gittings’ situation is becoming less unusual. Is it possible to have a healthy, happy, pregnancy after weight-loss surgery? Yes, say experts.
About Weight-Loss Surgery
Weight-loss surgery is a general term often used to describe several different surgical procedures. The operations work in two basic ways: restriction (restricting the amount of food that can be taken in) or malabsorption (decreasing the amount of food absorbed by the body).
Whatever procedure is used, it isn’t taken lightly. According to US federal guidelines, you must be at least 100 pounds over your ideal weight, have a BMI (body mass index) of over 40, or a BMI over 35 in addition to an obesity-related medical problem to qualify—and then you are considered for the surgery only if traditional weight-loss methods have failed.
“I’ve heard many people say having weight-loss surgery is the easy way out,” says Wendy*, a teacher and mom of three in Arkansas, who gave birth to her third child three years ago after undergoing gastric bypass. “But there’s nothing easy about recovering from major surgery, having your insides rearranged, and then having to learn how to eat all over again. Having surgery is a last resort for morbidly obese people who have tried every diet plan and exercise regime imaginable.”
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN