Specialized Care for Women Pregnant After Bariatric Surgery


  • Amy A. Harris CNM, MS,

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    • Amy A. Harris, CNM, MS, is in clinical practice at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Portland, ME.

  • Mary K. Barger CNM, MPH, PhD

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    • Mary K. Barger, CNM, MPH, PhD, FACNM, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Health Care Nursing at the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing, San Francisco, CA.

Address correspondence to Amy A. Harris, CNM, MS, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, 970 Forest Avenue, Portland, ME 04101. amyaharris@gmail.com


Growing numbers of women today will seek bariatric surgery before pregnancy. Protein-calorie malnutrition; hyperemesis; intestinal hernias; dumping syndrome; anemia; and deficiencies in calcium, folic acid, and vitamins B12, D, and K are all possible complications that can impact pregnancy. This article reviews the nutritional and pregnancy-related consequences of current surgical procedures and summarizes existing research showing positive and negative effects of weight-loss surgery on pregnancy outcomes. Practice-based clinical recommendations will help guide clinicians caring for the increasing number of women who become pregnant after having bariatric surgery.