Are you hoping to start a family in the future? You might be filled with excitement at the idea of chasing after your toddlers and teaching them how to walk, run, and play. This is a time when many women start to closely consider their own health and how it might affect their ability to get pregnant, and if they’ll be able to keep up with energetic kids. If you’re struggling with your weight and experience weight-related health issues, you may be thinking about how you can take control of your weight and health before taking the next step into parenthood. If your BMI is 30 or higher, it’s especially important to lose weight before starting a family.
How Obesity Affects Your Health During Pregnancy
While some weight gain is normal during pregnancy, being very overweight before getting pregnant can cause health problems and complications.  To protect your health, it’s important to adopt a healthy lifestyle before and during your pregnancy, which includes a healthy diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight. Being obese during your pregnancy may result in serious health issues, such as:
- Gestational diabetes: Developing gestational diabetes results in a higher risk of having diabetes in the future – for both you and your children. It also increases the risk of needing a C-section when giving birth.
- Preeclampsia: This is a serious blood pressure disorder that can cause your liver and kidneys to fail. It can also lead to seizures, or in rare cases, stroke. Preeclampsia can put you and your baby at risk, and may result in your baby needing to be delivered early.
- Sleep apnea: This occurs when you stop breathing for a short amount of time while sleeping. Sleep apnea can cause fatigue and result in more serious conditions, such as heart and lung disorders, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia.
How Obesity Effects on Your Baby’s Health
Being overweight during your pregnancy can also cause health problems for your baby, or make a full-time pregnancy more difficult.  Some issues include:
- Miscarriage: Being very overweight during your pregnancy can result in a higher risk of pregnancy loss.
- Birth defects: Babies born to obese mothers are at greater risk of birth defects, such as neural tube and heart defects.
- Preterm delivery: Certain health conditions associated with being overweight while pregnant, such as preeclampsia, can result in a preterm delivery. A preterm delivery means your baby will be born before they’re fully developed, which can cause other serious health issues.
- Stillbirth: Being obese is correlated with an increased risk of stillbirth.
- Macrosomia: This is when the baby is bigger than average and has a larger amount of body fat. This can cause a higher risk of problems during birth and may result in a C-section needing to be performed. Babies born with a higher amount of body fat are also more likely to be overweight when they’re older.
Bariatric Surgery and Pregnancy
If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can make becoming pregnant easier and result in a healthier pregnancy. For some women, diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to lose stubborn pounds and achieve a healthy weight. Bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery, may be an option. Weight loss surgery options include mini gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and Lap-Band™ surgery.
As weight loss surgery causes you to lose weight over time, it’s recommended that you wait one to two years after your bariatric surgery to begin family planning. Becoming pregnant when you’re still losing weight after surgery could result in your baby not receiving an adequate amount of nutrients. However, once your weight has stabilized, it’s safe to get pregnant.
Prenatal Care After Bariatric Surgery
Weight loss surgery will not negatively affect your health or your baby’s health. Achieving a healthy weight before becoming pregnancy with weight loss surgery will greatly decrease the risk of health complications associated with obesity for you and your baby.
Your prenatal care after weight loss surgery will be similar to most pregnant women. You should see your doctor regularly for prenatal care and you may also want to see a dietician to ensure you’re getting the right amount of nutrition. A nutritional supplement containing B-vitamins, calcium, and iron is often recommended. Follow the advice of your medical provider.
SmartShape Weight Loss Centre: Expert Mini Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve and Lap-Band™ Surgery in Canada from Accredited Bariatric Surgeons
If you’re struggling to lose weight and are considering family planning in the future, SmartSmart Weight Loss Centre can help you achieve a healthy weight. We offer expedited access to weight loss surgery in Canada from accredited bariatric surgeons, and an exceptional five-year aftercare program with our registered nurses and dieticians that will help you reach your health goals. Our surgical weight loss options include mini gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and Lap-Band™ surgery. To learn more about your surgical weight loss options, schedule a virtual consultation with our bariatric surgeon and find the best option for your unique needs.