Seven facts about pregnancy after weight-loss surgery

2. You should wait 18 months before getting pregnant

It’s safe to get pregnant after bariatric surgery — after your weight stabilizes. After surgery, your body goes through potentially stressful changes and significant nutritional upheaval, which can pose problems for a growing baby.

“Pregnancy after weight-loss surgery isn’t an issue. The only concern is [getting pregnant] in the period of rapid weight loss,” says Philip Schauer, director of advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgery at the Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute.

To protect women and their babies from potential malnutrition, doctors recommend that women not get pregnant until 18 months after surgery. A report in a November 2005 issue of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing explained that getting pregnant at least 18 months after surgery reduces the “potential for maternal and fetal malnutrition and small-for-gestational-age infants.” By then, Schauer says, a woman should have reached a stable weight and be able to provide her baby with enough nutrition.

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