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Study Supports Delaying Pregnancy for One Year After Bariatric Surgery

Pregnancy within 12 months linked to lower gestational age at delivery, lower gestational weight gain, lower neonatal birth weight

a woman looking at the pregnancy test

TUESDAY, May 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Women undergoing pregnancy soon after bariatric surgery have lower gestational age at delivery, lower gestational weight gain, and lower neonatal birth weight, according to a study recently published in Obesity Surgery and presented at the European Congress on Obesity, held virtually from May 10 to 13.

Laura Heusschen, from Rijnstate Hospital in Arnhem, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of 196 singleton pregnancies following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and one anastomosis gastric bypass. Pregnancies were divided according to the surgery-conception interval: early (within 12 months), middle (12 to 24 months), and late (>24 months).

The researchers found that compared with pregnancy in the middle and late groups, pregnancy in the early group correlated with lower gestational age at delivery (267.1 ± 19.9 days versus 272.7 ± 9.2 and 273.1 ± 13.5 days, respectively), lower gestational weight gain (−0.9 ± 11.0 kg versus +10.2 ± 5.6 and +10.0 ± 6.4 kg, respectively), and lower neonatal birth weight (2,979 ± 470 g versus 3,161 ± 481 and 3,211 ± 465 g, respectively). Compared with adequate weight gain, inadequate weight gain correlated with lower gestational age at delivery (266.5 ± 20.2 days versus 273.8 ± 8.4 days) and lower neonatal birth weight (3,061 ± 511 g versus 3,217 ± 479 g) and with more frequent preterm births (15.9 percent versus 6.0 percent).

"Our findings support the recommendation to postpone pregnancy for 12 months after bariatric surgery," the authors write. "During pregnancy, specific attention is needed on achieving adequate gestational weight gain."

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