Being pregnant with a lap-band

By Jess

A lot of my blog readers have had questions about how my lap-band affects my pregnancy. It is a very interesting thing to be pregnant post-weight loss surgery. I can’t speak to bypass patients, but with a lap-band so far the adjustments have actually been somewhat minimal.

The biggest deal for me as far as the band is concerned is that it exacerbated my morning sickness. The worst part was, I didn’t realize the connection for a few weeks.

My morning sickness was bad–I felt nauseous round the clock and threw up at least once per day–but it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t keep any food down, and I didn’t get dehydrated or anything, so I thought it was just normal. And maybe that is what’s normal for some people.

But then one day I woke up and tried to eat breakfast, and immediately felt incredible nausea, as well as a painful tightness in my chest. I threw up my breakfast, and then I continued to dry heave for another 30 minutes. So I tried again at lunch. One bite and I was crouched in front of the toilet again. And the nausea was painful, and it went on for an hour. In the middle of it I tried to take a shower, and wound up throwing up in the tub. That was awesome.

I thought maybe it was just a bad day, but when the same thing happened at dinner and then again the next day, and I was throwing up water, and I lost 2 pounds overnight because I hadn’t been able to keep anything down, I realized that the tightness in my chest wasn’t just for fun–it was a sign that this was band-related. (Chest pain/tightness is usually a sign that something is stuck in the band.) So I called my surgeon’s office and they told me that a) the band had probably been exacerbating my symptoms the whole time, and b) all the vomiting I’d been doing over the

past few weeks had most likely inflamed the tissue around the band, causing it to tighten and reject all food.

Luckily, they were so nice about it. They had me come in right that second and they pulled half the fluid out of the band. They didn’t even charge for the visit! They chatted with me about pregnancy, told me that if I felt that I was gaining too much weight too fast down the road in the pregnancy, they would put some of the fluid back in once the morning sickness had eased, let me know that I should call them if the sickness didn’t abate, and sent me on my way.

That was about a month ago. And from the second they removed that fluid, I have felt so, SO much better. I’ve had some waves of nausea, for sure, but nothing like before. And I’ve only thrown up once since then.

And I think this perfectly illustrates exactly what I love about this band, and in fact why I picked it over the bypass in the first place. It is so flexible. It can be adjusted throughout my pregnancy to make sure that I am eating enough, getting enough nutrients, but not getting so much that I gain 80 pounds. I love it for that.

But really, that’s the only band-related issue I’ve had so far in this pregnancy. As long as I continue to be able to eat high-quality food, and the baby keeps growing on schedule, there are no real other adjustments that will need to be made to the band. My midwives will do one or two extra ultrasounds a bit later on, just to make sure the baby is growing adequately, but nobody envisions a problem in that area.

And I will say, pregnancy, post-WLS or not, is not a time for trying to lose weight. As it happens, I did lose a few pounds in the first trimester–6 or 7 of them. This was mostly related to the vomiting. Since my band fluid was reduced, I can eat more and have been less sick, and I’ve gained 2 of those pounds back. So overall I’m down about 5 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.

I’m still overweight, though significantly thinner than I was before, so I shouldn’t gain the 30 pounds that are often recommended for pregnant women. My weight gain should be somewhere in the range of 15-20 pounds. That’s a gain from my pre-pregnancy weight, so that means that generic sample viagra I should gain about 20-25 pounds from my current weight.

And I have to say, after the goal being weight loss for so long? It’s weird that now it’s a good thing to gain weight (gradually, of course). It’s a tough mind shift. It’s hard not to cringe when I get on the scale and see that my weight hasn’t budged, or if it has, it’s budged upward.

I know that this is what the baby needs, and I have no problem doing it. I am eating healthily, taking all my vitamins, trying to focus on healthy, high-protein snacks, eating when I’m hungry. I know I will gain weight. I’m getting a bit of a belly, and even though I’m sure it just looks like a regular jiggly belly to strangers, I know what’s really causing it and it makes me happy.

But it’s still weird, mentally, to catch up to what’s happening to my body physically, and try to embrace it. Though I am DEFINITELY on board with the growing belly, and the baby that’s growing inside it.


10 Responses to “Being pregnant with a lap-band”

  1. Kristen Says:

    Very insightful. I remember gaining my baby bump and feeling very aware of everyone else seeing it. :) I actually missed having it after I delivered her — it is such a part of you.


  2. kakaty Says:

    You know, you might not gain weight and that’s 100% ok. I am overweight and was overweight through both my pregnancies. Something shifted for me while pregnant and I was hyper-conscience about the quality of the food/nutrition I ate and totally lost my sweet tooth.

    After losing then regaining a few pounds during the 1st (morning sickness), I lost 18 lbs. exactly during the 2nd & early 3rd both times. All I wanted to eat was veggies, protein and LOTS of fruit – I barely ate any carbs/bread or sweets because they tasted awful to me. In the late 3rd I gained some of the weight back (thanks to sudden cravings for McDonald’s double cheeseburgers – hold the pickle) but not all and both times I unintentionally walked out of the hospital 15-20 lbs lighter then when I got pregnant. Oh, and I had healthy-sized babies – 7 lbs. 1 oz and 8 lbs 6 oz.

    Now, lets not talk about the absolute sugar-fiend nursing turns me into. As long as you eat well and eat when you are hungry and the baby is growing, then I don’t think how much you gain/lose matters in pregnancy!

    Congrats again on the piglet!

  3. Tia Says:

    I’m not sure where you fall now in the BMI chart (and it’s none of my business!), but I work on a study for pregnant obese women that is designed for them to gain NO weight. It’s controversial for sure (GMA is profiling a woman, NY Times did an article about it), but the thought behind it is that women who are already obese don’t need to gain anything. These women get classes about healthy eating and nutrition through the study. Many have actually lost weight and they report feeling great! So far only 2 have delivered, but both have very healthy babies.

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