Gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy and intragastric balloon help people with severe obesity noticeably lose weight. It has become obvious that such a normalization of body weight protects women from complications in the late pregnancy period.
The higher the BMI, and thus the woman’s extra weight, the more often it leads to problems for the mother and the child during pregnancy and childbirth. Emergency cesarean section, premature birth and prolonged pregnancy are only some of the possible problems. The weakness of the uterine contractions also occurs more frequently. In such cases, labor is stimulated with medications. Another complication is bleeding after childbirth.
It is also proved by the data from the Swedish registry of births in the period from 2008 to 2018. It is obvious that children of overweight mothers often suffer from infectious diseases and fetal distress. As the research team led by Olaf Stefansson from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm states in the specialized journal PlosMedicine, it means, for example, hypoxia during labor or an irregular heartbeat.
During this period, almost 2,000 women lost an average of 38 kg after bariatric surgery. In comparison with the pregnant women who were too obese, the mothers that had been operated on were able to give birth naturally to a greater number of children. Not only the number of cesarean sections, but, above all, the number of emergency cesarean sections significantly have decreased. The usual complications during childbirth are also less common than in obese women.
Sweden plays a pioneering role in bariatric surgery. Mothers of nearly one percent of all children born now had the so-called bariatric surgery before childbirth.