What to do if you become pregnant after banding
Even if you are banded, you should not attempt to continue to lose weight during pregnancy. Some women find that nausea during the first trimester may keep them from eating very much and may still continue to lose weight. But you should expect to gain some weight during your pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester. A 2001 study from Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, found that banded women gained an average of 18 pounds during pregnancy. Women with a BMI over 30 should plan to gain between 11 and 20 pounds. Although the actual fetus weighs only approximately 7 pounds, the body needs additional stores of blood, fat, and other fluids to support the growth of the baby.
Should you unfill?
Unfilling the band is not mandatory during pregnancy. If you choose to leave fluid in your band, make sure that you are able to maintain a diet that provides enough nutrients for the baby. Even with an empty band, you may experience periods of tightness that make it difficult to eat anything other than liquids. Completely unfilling the band at 36 weeks, if you haven't already, may help you avoid delivery complications.
Many women also leave the band empty while breastfeeding in order to consume enough calories to produce a sufficient amount of milk
Lap-Band complications during pregnancy
Complications related to the band are not uncommon during pregnancy. Some women may experience pain and swelling in the port area, which may worsen when sitting or bending over. You may find that your band is sensitive to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. A slipped band, which occurs when the band slides further down the stomach, is also not uncommon during pregnancy or after deliver. Learn more about band slippage.
Scheduling and keeping regular appointments with your bariatric surgeon and your obstetrician during pregnancy will help you best manage your band to support the continued health of you and your baby.