Obesity is a major concern worldwide, especially in pregnancy and childbirth. It has been a key risk factor in affecting delivery outcomes in mothers, especially in term births. In developed countries, particularly Sweden, there is growing evidence that bariatric surgery positively affects the outcomes and reduces the risks. One in every three women admitted into prenatal care are either obese or overweight, according to the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. Given the fact that the treatment options for substantial and sustained weight loss are limited, bariatric surgery has emerged as promising.
Large Weight Reduction from Bariatric Surgery reduced Various Risks of Delivery in Term Births
A team of researchers from different institutes in Sweden conducted a population-based matched cohort study to assess the impact on 1,431 term births in women with the surgery history and compared the maternal characteristics with 4,476 women who hadn’t undergone the surgery. The study found that compared with controls, women who had undergone bariatric surgery, showed potentially lower delivery risks measured on a number of key parameters such as induction of labor, post-term pregnancy, and epidural analgesia. Furthermore, the researchers found that bariatric surgery considerably reduced delivery complications such as fetal distress, peripartum infection, postpartum hemorrhage, and other key ones, leading to fewer C-sections and induced deliveries. The researchers noticed that women the experimental group lost an average of 38 kilos from the start of the surgery to that of pregnancy.
Findings not sufficient to suggest any General Recommendations for Mothers
The data for comparison were taken from the Medical Birth Registry and Scandinavian Obesity Surgery Registry. The pre-surgery obesity status and age distribution of the women in the experimental group were similar to those in the control groups. The researchers had access to 876,068 deliveries recorded in the Registry during the period from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2013. The analyses notably excluded the cases of stillbirths, preterm birth, and mothers with multiple births. The matched control cohort was constructed by pairing 5 control births without replacement to each birth in women who has undergone surgery.
However, the conclusions are not that simple. Several earlier studied suggest that women who had undergone bariatric surgery also showed some noticeable adverse pregnancy and infant outcomes, such as increased risks of pre-term delivery. Hence, the researchers calls for more similar studies so that standard recommendations emerge.