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Pregnancy Soon After Bariatric Surgery May Raise Risks

A suitable interval, plus proper nutrition, key to ensuring healthy mother and infant

pregnancy

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Infants born to mothers who've had bariatric surgery have a higher risk for complications, and the risks are greatest for those born within two years of the surgery, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in JAMA Surgery.

Brodie Parent, M.D., of the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, and colleagues tracked outcomes for infants born to 1,859 mothers who were, on average, 29 years old. The women had all undergone bariatric surgery less than two years or more than four years before they gave birth. That data was compared to outcomes for infants born to 8,437 mothers who did not have bariatric surgery.

The researchers found that, compared to infants of mothers who didn't have bariatric surgery, infants born to mothers who did were at higher risk for prematurity (14.0 versus 8.6 percent), neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission (15.2 versus 11.3 percent), and being small for gestational age (13.0 versus 8.9 percent). Compared to infants of mothers who had bariatric surgery more than four years before giving birth, infants of mothers who had the surgery less than two years before giving birth were at higher risks for prematurity (17.2 versus 11.8 percent), NICU admission (17.7 versus 12.1 percent), and being small for gestational age (12.7 versus 9.2 percent).

"Undoubtedly, bariatric operations result in many health benefits for morbidly obese women of childbearing age and reduce obesity-related obstetrical complications," the authors write. "Findings from this study should not deter bariatric surgeons from offering such therapy to this population."

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