When planning a family, you want to do everything you can to increase the chances of having a healthy baby with your partner. This means focusing on your health first, especially if you suffer from obesity. If you have obesity and are planning to have a baby in the next few years, you might want to act now to lose weight.

Getting your weight back into the healthy range before you conceive reduces the risk of developing complications during pregnancy and reduces the risk of health problems for your baby.

Obesity is a major cause of health complications and deaths during pregnancy, for both the mother and the baby. The benefits of treating obesity before becoming pregnant include:

  • Improved fertility
  • Decreased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth
  • Reduced risk of premature labour
  • Reduced risk of the mother developing preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, blood clots, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of having a baby that is significantly larger than average (over 4kg, which can create health risks for the mother during delivery and for the baby after delivery)
  • Increased rates of successful vaginal birth, including after a previous caesarean delivery
  • Lower operative and infectious complications

Babies born to mothers of a healthy weight are less likely to develop obesity themselves as children and adults. For men, getting down to a healthy weight at least 3 months before trying for a baby can improve both the chances of conception and the health of the baby.
Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for obesity


  • Delay conception for 12-18 months after bariatric surgery
  • Fertility may improve quickly and dramatically, particularly in women whose obesity was associated with reduced or absent ovulation (eg. PCOS)
  • Contraception is essential for all women of reproductive age undergoing bariatric surgery
  • Oral contraceptives may be less effective after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or duodenal switch (SADI).
  • Non-oral contraception is recommended
  • If possible, women who have undergone bariatric surgery and are planning a family should be referred to an obstetrician with experience in bariatric surgery before becoming pregnant
  • If pregnancy occurs within 12 months of surgery, it is important to return to your surgeon for assessment
When it comes to infertility, time is not on your side. If you are considering undergoing IVF, treating the obesity first becomes even more important.

Patients tell us it is hard to start the conversation with their doctor about how their weight is affecting their health and how they would like help to treat it.

Doctors tell us it is hard to start the conversation with their patients about how weight is affecting their health and the help available to treat it.

Click below for information about how treating obesity improves fertility and pregnancy outcomes to take with you to your doctor to help           #StartTheConversation.
We'd like to invite you to our next patient education evening with Upper GI Surgeon
Dr Jacobus Jordaan

You will hear the facts straight from Dr Jordaan, the Surgical Weight Loss team and a patient who has undergone bariatric surgery.

  • Causes and complications of obesity
  • Surgical treatment options
  • Criteria for surgery
  • Potential benefits
  • Possible risks and complications
  • Steps to surgery and life-long commitment
  • How to prepare for surgery
  • How to look after your new weight anatomy
  • How to reframe your thinking for long-term success
After bariatric surgery, you're able to eat a wide variety of foods. Your meal portions will just be much smaller. Your new eating pattern helps you progress with weight loss in a nutritionally sound manner to reach your health goals.

Eating a variety of foods will help you obtain adequate protein, vitamins and minerals.

This week we have included a POST-BARIATRIC SURGERY meal.

  • 500g lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup grated zucchini, all moisture squeezed dry with a paper towel
  • 2 tbsp onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 2 tbsp fat free sour cream
  • 2 tbsp fat free chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp skim milk
  • 1/2 tbsp light butter
  • salt to taste
  • dash of fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  1. Put the potatoes and garlic in a large pot with enough water to cover; bring to boil.
  2. Cover and reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Drain and return potatoes and garlic to pan. Add sour cream and remaining ingredients.
  4. Using a masher or blender, mash until smooth.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°.
  7. Line a muffin tin with foil liners.
  8. In a large bowl, mix the turkey, zucchini, onion, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce and egg.
  9. Place meatloaf mixture into muffin tins filling them to the top, making sure they are flat at the top.
  10. Bake uncovered for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through.
  11. Remove from tins and place onto a baking dish.
  12. Pipe the "icing" onto the meatloaf cupcakes and serve.
Stop the damage and turn health around within 12 months
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