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When a person gets bariatric surgery, it isn’t just that person’s life that’s changed. Weight loss surgery means a better childhood for kids that can finally kick a football with their fathers. It means professionals that have enough energy to spend time with friends after work, and adult children that can care for their aging parents.
And further, a new scientific study has proven what we already knew to be true: women who receive weight loss surgery are setting their children up for better lives. In May, researchers at a Canadian university found genetic differences in children born to women before and after the mother’s weight loss surgery. The differences indicate better heart health for children born to thinner mothers, as well as lower blood pressure and better insulin levels.
"It appears that there's an effect that is transmitted to the next generation," said Laval University professor Marie-Claude Vohl, who co-wrote the study.
"This may have some consequence later in life for the health of the children."
While researchers are unsure of the exact reasons for the genetic difference, they suspect it is a combination of a healthier environment while in the womb, as well as a healthier environment after birth. Because many weight loss surgery patients embark on healthier lifestyles after their operations, it is likely that the children’s development is also affected by the reformed examples set by their parents.
Another study published in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist this year confirmed that bariatric surgery makes pregnancy safer for morbidly obese women.
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Rahat Khan, who co-authored the TOG study, said women who have had bariatric surgery generally tolerated pregnancy well.
“In light of current evidence available, pregnancy after bariatric surgery is safer, with fewer complications, than pregnancy in morbidly obese women. Multidisciplinary input care is the key to a healthy pregnancy for women who have undergone bariatric surgery,” he said.
The study said the best way to avoid complications during pregnancy was to wait one year after bariatric surgery before trying for a baby. It also recommended that women should receive advice about nutrition, pregnancy-related weight gain, and vitamin supplementation before, during and after pregnancy.
If you have any questions about pregnancy after weight loss surgery, our staff will be happy to work through them with you.