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Women Who Have Undergone Weight-loss Surgery At Risk Of Birth Complications

The researchers compared over 14, 800 pregnant women, who had earlier undergone any weight-loss surgery to 4 million pregnant women who hadn't.

Women Who Have Undergone Weight-loss Surgery At Risk Of Birth Complications

Weight loss surgery can pose risks during birth in women

Women, who have undergone a weight-loss surgery before pregnancy, were more likely to deliver premature babies, claims a study.

The study was presented at the Meeting 'European Congress on Obesity'.

"Our findings indicate that women with a history of bariatric surgery, and in particular gastric bypass surgery, are at much greater risk of several adverse perinatal outcomes", said Zainab Akhter, research lead.


She added, "These women require specific preconception and pregnancy nutritional support. This highlights the importance of dietary supplements and extra monitoring of fetal growth and development."

The researchers compared over 14, 800 pregnant women, who had earlier undergone any weight-loss surgery to 4 million pregnant women who hadn't.

Obese pregnant women suffer from an increased risk of complications like gestational diabetes and hypertension. Weight-Loss surgery before pregnancy improved these outcomes, but some bariatric procedures, such as gastric bypass, affect the absorption of micronutrients and may impair fetal development.

The meta-analyses were dependent on the quality of the included studies, sample sizes, and whether they adjusted for factors which can affect perinatal outcomes such as age, smoking status, and diabetes.

The findings from the research suggested that babies who were born after a weight-loss surgery tended to be 57 per cent more likely to be born prematurely., 29 per cent may have congenital anomalies and 41 per cent more likely to be admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit.

Babies born after obesity surgery were also at a 38% greater risk of perinatal death, defined as being stillborn or dying within 7 days of birth.

Another finding indicated at the fact that babies born after bariatric surgery were 200 kg lighter on average than those born to mothers without any surgery. Also, the women who underwent surgery experienced a shorter duration of pregnancy.

"It is not clear how weight-loss surgery may influence fetal development, but we know that people who have bariatric surgery are more likely to have micronutrient deficiencies", said Zainab.

"More work needs to be done to better understand the causes of these differences so that steps can be taken to support women to achieve the best possible pregnancy outcomes for themselves and their babies," she opined.

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