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Keywords:

  • bariatric surgery;
  • malnutrition;
  • pregnancy;
  • surgical complications

Key content

  • There is an exponential increase in the number of morbidly obese women of childbearing age undergoing bariatric surgery as the ultimate treatment for their obesity.
  • Pregnancy after bariatric surgery is safer, with fewer complications, than pregnancy in morbidly obese women.
  • Patients should be strongly advised not to get pregnant for at least 12–18 months following bariatric surgery.
  • Multidisciplinary care before, during and after pregnancy following bariatric surgery helps to prevent nutrition-related and surgical complications.

Learning objectives

  • To outline the safety, advantages and limitations of bariatric surgery procedures in relation to maternal and neonatal outcomes.
  • To understand that the key to a healthy pregnancy after weight-loss surgery is paying attention to nutrition.
  • To learn the importance of the multidisciplinary management of post-surgery pregnancies, including prepregnancy counselling.

Ethical issues

  • Often GPs and obstetricians are not fully informed about the management of pregnant individuals who have had bariatric surgery.
  • There are no recommendations that detail the nutrients that women should consume during pregnancy if they have had previous weight loss surgery.
  • A literature review demonstrates both positive and negative associations of weight loss procedures with fertility.