Gastric Bypass and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Gastric Bypass and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know with birth control

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Gastric Bypass and Pregnancy? Yup, it happens! No matter how hard you plan things out, surprizes may come your way. Or, maybe you have decided to go about Gastric Bypass surgery to increase your chances of becoming a mother – either way, we have what you need to know about it all right here.

Gastric Bypass and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know picture of pregnant woman

Getting pregnant can be difficult for some and it might possibly be related to the excess weight a person carries. This is a fixable situation! One such action is by doing gastric bypass surgery. Gastric bypass surgery is when a small pouch is detached from the stomach and connected to the small intestine. It is considered by many as one of the most effective weight-loss surgeries as the process includes people taking in smaller quantities of food.

Gastric Bypass and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

However, many people have never thought about the after-effects of these actions, especially when it comes to pregnancy. Even though it seems like a harmless surgery – which for the most part, it might be – there are lots of lifestyle changes and adjustments one has to follow through to get the best results they had hoped for.

There might be lots of questions in women regarding getting pregnant, such as will the baby get enough nutrients? How will the baby survive with no major food going through the stomach? Will it be safe for the baby after such a weight-loss experiment?

Well, we all know there are ways to get around just about everything, and there is always a solution to every little problem we might have.

Many people have been wondering how the process generally works when it comes to the reality of wanting to have children. So what are the processes like?

What is the Recommended Time Frame For Avoiding Pregnancy after Bariatric Surgery?

Getting pregnant after gastric bypass surgery is quite safe and can be done with essential aid from yourself and your medical team. Many women have successfully given birth to their children after doing the surgery but, we have to admit, it is a tedious process.

After all, bear in mind most nutrients the body receives goes through different processes, and for a baby to be healthy throughout pregnancy and childbirth, they would need as many nutrients as possible.

Wait at least a year

Many medical professionals have noted the recommended timeframe for a woman to consider getting pregnant is between 12 to 18 months after the surgery. However, this has been countered by many others who believe the wait time should be much longer…

How Effective is Birth Control After Gastric Bypass?

Make sure your body has stabilized

The waiting period helps the body adjust to the new “setting” and is also critical in stabilizing the body’s weight. It is of utmost importance to speak with your doctor before planning your pregnancy to get the most guided approach.

Your doctor may also need to use the period to test your nutritional deficiency level to know whether you may need supplements to help boost your system. This will need to be done before, during, and after pregnancy.

How Effective is Birth Control After Gastric Bypass?  

Many women who have done gastric bypass surgery might be sexually active with their partner but don’t want to risk getting pregnant during the “high-risk” period (months directly after the surgery). As such, they may resort to taking birth control in hopes it works in their favor. But how effective is it?

Many surgeries, including gastric bypass, affect the way the body absorbs food and nutrients and this, in turn, affects the way the body responds to the medication. As a result, oral birth control might not be as effective as it is with other women who have not had the surgery done.

Gastric Bypass and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know woman with birth control pills in her hand

To put it simply, you are a fertile Myrtle – even if you take the pill.

Use something else

Numerous testing and research have led to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending women opting for different contraceptives after the surgery. Simply put – the digestive tract is now shorter and your body doesn’t have enough time to get what it needs from your birth control pills to be effective.

They noted using options like IUDs, implants, shots, or the ring could be effective. Worried about hormonal issues from the IUD? No worries, studies show the non-hormonal IUD is just as effective.

Does Gastric Bypass Affect Pregnancy?

The short term (roughly the first two years after the surgery) could be risky for both mother and baby as this is an avenue for developing complications you wouldn’t want to deal with.

During this two-year period, you tend to lose a lot of weight and at a faster rate than your body is accustomed to. The hormonal changes and reduced nutrients could be a major cause for concern. Bear in mind, food intake will be less, and as such, the body’s vital nutrients to aid in the effective growth of the baby might not be present.

Research has shown that women who get pregnant within this period tend to have a smaller baby or are born premature, as well as many end up having a miscarriage.

However, in the long run, the surgery could be good for you and your baby, as women who might have been obese could have their baby without having the thought of developing gestational diabetes and other complications.

The risk of developing high blood pressure will be reduced, the chances of having a C-section might be reduced, and the baby will be born at the average recommended size and weight.

Does Gastric Bypass Affect Pregnancy?

Furthermore, lots of women had to opt for the surgery because they had problems getting pregnant due to excess weight, this would no longer be a major issue for them. Plus, they would be able to have their baby without any medical interference.

Can Bariatric Patients Take Prenatal Vitamins?

Yes, women can take prenatal vitamins after their gastric bypass surgery but with limitations. Due to their system undergoing major changes, they may need to get medical guidance on effectively taking their vitamins without developing any issues.

Furthermore, continued blood work will be a must to help monitor the amounts of vitamins in the blood and whether it is too high or low for pregnancy safety. Interestingly, many gastric bypass clinics offer expectant mothers post-surgery kits, which helps them easily monitor their proper intake of the needed vitamins to carry a healthy pregnancy.

Can Bariatric Patients Take Prenatal Vitamins?

Bear in mind, the surgeon would be the one to tell you the number of nutrients the body needs and how much it absorbs at any given time.

Yes, there are both ups and downs when it comes to having your baby after gastric bypass. But, with the help of your medical team and your perseverance, you will have your little bundle of joy in no time. 

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