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Guidelines on Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery

Women who undergo bariatric surgery should be well informed to improve pregnancy-related outcomes.

Obesity increases the risk of infertility for men and women and decreases the effectiveness of fertility therapies, according to Dr. Sarah Cheah from the St George Hospital in Sydney.

Almost 60 percent of female patients who have bariatric surgery are within the age range of 20–44 years, and these women need appropriate advice and management around contraception, peri-conception nutrition and supplementation, and weight management during and after pregnancy.

Recommendations for Pregnancy after bariatric surgery:

Labor and Delivery

Bariatric surgery should not affect the management of labor and delivery. Although rates of cesarean delivery are higher in women who have had bariatric surgery, it is not an indication of cesarean delivery. If a patient has had extensive and complicated abdominal surgery from weight-loss procedures, pre-labor consultation with a bariatric surgeon should be considered.

It is important that these women are managed early on in the prenatal period with a multidisciplinary team beyond the traditional obstetricians and maternity specialists to also involve bariatric surgeons, bariatric medical practitioners, bariatric dieticians, and the patient’s usual GP to improve pregnancy-related outcomes.


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