According to new research out of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, women who undergo bariatric surgery for weight loss (i.e. gastric bypass surgery) and then become pregnant have a higher risk of having a premature baby compared to expectant mothers who did not have weight loss surgery. Published in The New England Journal of Medicine in August 2016, the researchers studied over 8,500 Swedish women who gave birth between 2006 and 2013—nearly 2,000 of whom had bariatric surgery before conceiving. Researchers found that women who became pregnant 1 to 2 years post-surgery had a 10% risk of having a preterm baby, while women who waited more than 2 years had an 8% risk. While obesity is also considered a risk factor for preterm birth, women who have had bariatric surgery and are considering pregnancy should consult with their doctors to discuss potential risks and likelihood of delivering a full-term baby.
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