Pregnancy following bariatric surgery

J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. Oct-Dec 2004;18(4):329-40. doi: 10.1097/00005237-200410000-00003.


Gastric bypass surgery for morbid obesity is considered an appropriate intervention when other weight-loss measures have proven unsuccessful. Weight loss often brings about improvement in overall health by lessening the effects of obesity-related comorbidities such as chronic hypertension and diabetes. In fact, the ability to become pregnant is enhanced, as weight loss often allows for a normalization of sex hormones. However, the nutrition challenges brought about by the surgery may have a profound impact on maternal health and pregnancy outcome. Surgical procedures for morbid obesity may be classified according to the digestive aftereffects brought about by the particular procedure. These categories include the "restrictive" procedures, "restrictive-malabsorptive" procedures, and the less common "malabsorptive" procedures. Deficiencies in iron, vitamin B12, folate, and calcium can result in maternal complications, such as severe anemia, and in fetal complications, such as neural tube defect, intrauterine growth restriction, and failure to thrive. Nutrient supplementation following bariatric surgery and close supervision before, during, and after pregnancy can help prevent nutrition-related complications and improve maternal and fetal health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Avitaminosis / etiology
  • Avitaminosis / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Gastric Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Gastric Bypass / nursing
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Maternal-Child Nursing / education
  • Maternal-Child Nursing / standards*
  • Mothers / education
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nutritional Sciences / education*
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / nursing*
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy, High-Risk*
  • Prenatal Care / methods*
  • Risk Factors