Bariatric surgery is one of the most effective ways to lose weight when diet and exercise fail to work, and is highly recommended for overweight and obese individuals who also suffer from one or more comorbidities related to carrying excess weight.
There are several different bariatric surgery procedures weight-loss patients can choose from based on their personal preferences, comorbidities, health conditions, and severity of obesity. Some weight-loss procedures such as the gastric sleeve and LAP-BAND are restrictive, which means that the stomach pouch is restricted and made smaller to accommodate smaller portion sizes.
On the other hand, some bariatric procedures such as roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery are malabsorptive, which means that a portion of intestines are re-routed so food can bypass the section of the stomach that generally absorbs calories.
Since your stomach either becomes restricted or malabsorptive during bariatric surgery, it’s important to make sure that your body gets the micronutrients it requires to stay healthy, especially when you become pregnant.
What are micronutrients?
Micronutrients are more commonly known as vitamins and minerals. Since you’re now eating smaller portions following weight-loss surgery, you must make sure that the foods you’re eating are completely nutritious and rich in vitamins and minerals. Your diet should now include healthy portions of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and sources of lean protein, such as fish. Nutritional deficiencies are common among those who have had bariatric surgery and fail to eat the foods they need to stay healthy.
Micronutrients and pregnancy
Women who become pregnant after undergoing bariatric surgery should meet with a physician regularly to undergo screenings to ensure that both mother and baby are receiving enough folate, vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, and calcium. When a woman suffers from nutritional deficiency during her pregnancy, she is putting her baby at risk for complications, including low birth weight, neural tube defects, and even mortality. However, regular screenings can prevent such complications from occurring.
Based on a number of controlled studies conducted by physicians on the subject of bariatric surgery and pregnancy, experts recommend that pregnant women work closely with nutritionists on developing healthy meal plans, and take nutritional supplements when needed to ensure that mother and baby have a healthy outcome.