As a bariatric patient, one of the hardest things is seeing the scale go up. Regain happens for quite a bit of people and it can cause a significant amount of anxiety. We are so conditioned to respond poorly to the scale, so when the number goes up, it automatically freaks us out. However, if you decide to get pregnant after bariatric surgery, you must be prepared for your body to yet again go through some changes. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing and our bodies will naturally change, but it can be tricky as a bariatric patient.
I am currently 8 months pregnant post-op bariatric surgery and have struggled with accepting the fact that my weight and body overall is changing. I remember it was harder for me with my first pregnancy because I was only 1-year post-op gastric sleeve at the time. It was all so fresh and I was so worried I was going to mess up all my progress. With this pregnancy, I feel like I am in a better mental state, but it still does not make it easier when you see the scale go up. During my first trimester, I was extremely sick and lost about 15 pounds. Since then, I have gained about 5 pounds back, so I am technically still in the negative. Even with such a small gain, it is hard for me to accept that I am not losing right now. I got pregnant with this second pregnancy very soon after my revision surgery. So, I feel like my body has been through a lot in a very short period of time. It was really hard for me to accept that I had to put my weight loss on hold when I got pregnant.
It is normal to gain weight during any pregnancy because you need to make sure your baby is growing properly. Even as a bariatric patient, you must remember the importance of gaining a healthy weight during pregnancy. You should work with your doctor to make sure you are gaining the correct amount as it depends on your BMI. For example, if you are underweight, it is recommended that you gain 28-40 pounds. Those with normal weights should gain between 25-35 pounds and those who are overweight should gain 15-25 pounds. Obese individuals should only gain 11-20 pounds. Since every person is at different weights when they get pregnant after bariatric surgery, I highly recommend you work closely with both your surgeon and your OBGYN to make sure you are properly gaining throughout the pregnancy.
If you are having anxiety about gaining weight throughout your pregnancy after bariatric surgery, just remember how important it is for the health of your baby. Your body will bounce back and to be honest, you might have to worry about not gaining enough throughout your pregnancy. Since you are eating such a limited amount of food after surgery, it can honestly be quite tricky to gain weight. For a lot of people, the weight gain is just the baby and water weight from pregnancy and once they give birth, they are pretty much back to normal. So, if you are considering getting pregnant after bariatric surgery but you are scared to lose control, just take a deep breath. There are steps you can take to make sure you stay on track even throughout your pregnancy. Make sure you are eating a healthy well-balanced diet and find ways to get active, as long as you are cleared by your doctor. If you feel like you are gaining too much weight, start keeping track of your foods and work with your medical team to help you figure out any changes you might need to make. Remember that your body is going to change during this pregnancy and that is totally fine. Your body is literally creating another human, so do not be so hard on yourself. Focus on getting enough nutrition in for both you and your baby and you will be on the right track towards a healthy pregnancy.