There is increasing evidence that obesity of the mother can lead to problems for the mother and child as well as complications in the pregnancy and birthing process. Obese women are more likely to have preeclampsia or gestational high blood pressure and therefore higher risk of infant death and premature delivery.
These risks are seen to reduce very significantly among those obese women who had weight loss surgery performed prior to getting pregnant. According to researchers, one third of women of reproductive age in the United States are obese (having a BMI of over 30). Out of these, as many as 8% are morbidly obese with BMI of 40 or more.
Among the different kinds of weight loss surgery, the gastric bypass was seen to be the surgery choice for as many as 82% of the women who underwent surgery for weight loss.
15% of those women who had their babies before they had their weight loss surgery developed preeclampsia or eclampsia, where preeclampsia can develop if not treated in time.
However, only 3% of those women who had had the weight loss surgery before their deliveries, experienced preeclampsia. The weight loss surgery was also seen to offer protection against other blood pressure related complications.