Baby or Band First

Baby or LAP-BAND® System First?

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Ready to be a mom? If you’re severely obese or 70 lbs. or more overweight, consider having weight-loss surgery and losing excess pounds before you conceive.

Research suggests it could be a healthier choice for you and your baby.  The Lap Band is a safer, surgical option for weight loss and pregnancy.  The lap band does not have malabsorption (inability to digest vitamins and minerals) which allows for a normal diet during pregnancy.

In one recent study from Johns Hopkins University of 585 women, those who had weight-loss surgery before conception were 75 percent less likely to develop serious blood pressure problems during pregnancy than those who postponed surgery until after delivering a child.1 Losing weight with the Lap-Band® System can also lower the odds that you’ll develop diabetes or hypertension during pregnancy or need a cesarean section at delivery.2,3

Wait until your weight is stable after surgery, and plan your conception and pregnancy with your doctor.  Dr. McEwen recommends to wait one year after weight loss surgery before concieving.  Establishing good dietary habits can keep both you and your baby safe after weight loss surgery.

Obesity during pregnancy puts you at risk of several serious health problems:

  • Gestational diabetes is diabetes that is first diagnosed during pregnancy. This condition can increase the risk of having a cesarean delivery. Women who have had gestational diabetes also have a higher risk of having diabetes in the future, as do their children. Obese women are screened for gestational diabetes early in pregnancy and also may be screened later in pregnancy as well.
  • Preeclampsia is a high blood pressure disorder that can occur during pregnancy or after pregnancy. It is a serious illness that affects a woman’s entire body. The kidneys and liver may fail. Preeclampsia can lead to seizures, a condition called eclampsia. In rare cases, stroke can occur. Severe cases need emergency treatment to avoid these complications. The baby may need to be delivered early.
  • Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person stops breathing for short periods during sleep. Sleep apnea is associated with obesity. During pregnancy, sleep apnea not only can cause fatigue but also increases the risk of high blood pressure, preeclampsia, eclampsia, and heart and lung disorders.


Obesity increases the risk of the following problems during pregnancy:

  • Pregnancy loss—Obese women have an increased risk of pregnancy loss (miscarriage) compared with women of normal weight.
  • Birth defects—Babies born to obese women have an increased risk of having birth defects, such as heart defects and neural tube defects.
  • Problems with diagnostic tests—Having too much body fat can make it difficult to see certain problems with the baby’s anatomy on an ultrasound exam. Checking the baby’s heart rate during labor also may be more difficult if you are obese.
  • Macrosomia—In this condition, the baby is larger than normal. This can increase the risk of the baby being injured during birth. For example, the baby’s shoulder can become stuck during delivery. Macrosomia also increases the risk of cesarean delivery. Infants born with too much body fat have a greater chance of being obese later in life.
  • Preterm birth—Problems associated with a woman’s obesity, such as preeclampsia, may lead to a medically indicated preterm birth. This means that the baby is delivered early for a medical reason. Preterm babies are not as fully developed as babies who are born after 39 weeks of pregnancy. As a result, they have an increased risk of short-term and long-term health problems.
  • Stillbirth—The higher the woman’s BMI, the greater the risk of stillbirth.

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