A new study has revealed that obese women who have weight loss surgery before becoming pregnant have a lower risk of pregnancy-related health problems and their children are less likely to be born with complications.
In the study, researchers found that women who underwent bariatric surgery and lost weight before becoming pregnant had a significantly lower risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure than obese women who did not have surgery,
They also found that these women's babies were less likely to be born prematurely, be born underweight or be born overweight than children born to obese women.
For the study, the team, comprised primarily of researchers from RAND Health, the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, reviewed results from 75 studies that examined health issues among women who had undergone bariatric surgery and their children.
They found that their rate of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure was nearly as low as what is seen among women who had never been obese.
The impact of mothers' bariatric surgery on health complications among their newborns was even larger.
The researchers found evidence that fertility rates improved among women who had undergone bariatric surgery, but the evidence was limited in scope.
Other research has shown that fertility improves among obese women who lose weight with nonsurgical methods.
Although rare, complications from bariatric surgery can occur during pregnancy, according to the report. The most-common complication is an internal hernia that causes intestinal problems.
Most surgeons recommend that women delay pregnancy until a year after bariatric surgery, the period when the most rapid weight loss occurs.
The study is published in the Nov. 19 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.