Recent meta analysis (a research technique where researchers consider all the previous data on this topic), shows that women who have had bariatric surgery are at much greater risk of poor perinatal outcomes such as prematurity, small birth weights, congenital abnormalities, and of the need neonatal intensive care. Knowing some of the nutritional struggles of these women, means I do not find these results surprising, but is still shocking.
I am hearing more and more of younger women considering bariatric surgery for severe obesity. And I am also aware that bariatric surgery has become much more aggressive- a small removable band at top of stomach used to be the norm, now cutting large portions of stomach and intestines totally out of the body is the common method. The nutrition consequences of that is huge, and we know how essential good nutrition is to the growing baby.
I would urge young women who wish to have kids, that are considering this surgery for obesity, to reconsider and take a gentler path with support of a health team- doctor, dietitian, psychologist, exercise physiologist or physiotherapist.
If you have already had this surgery and are wanting a baby, I would urge you to get specialist support from very early – before you have even tried to conceive, so that your nutrition can be optimised to help support the baby.
here is some more info on the research