WLS and Your First Trimester of Pregnancy

Steph Wagner

June 30, 2015

Pregnant after Weight Loss Surgery

If you’ve had Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Banding surgery and found out YOU’RE HAVING A BABY then you are in the right place!!!

There are so many blogs out there about pregnancy. There are a good amount of blogs and websites out there for weight-loss surgery (probably more of the former) but how many places can you go that blend the two together?

If this is your first time to FoodCoach.Me, here’s a quick background of who I am (at the time of typing this!):

I’m Steph Wagner, a dietitian with a huge heart for bariatrics. I’m currently 15 weeks pregnant with my first babe and while I’ve counseled many a wls patient through a healthy pregnancy, this is officially the first time I can speak with a bit of personal experience. (And I do mean “just a bit” ….we aren’t talking Mother of Four here…we’re talking pregnant for the first time and 15 weeks in!)

The first blog in this series was more of a “101” introductory post about weight-loss surgery pregnancies. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t!

Which brings me to our next post on the topic of Bariatric Pregnancy. The First Trimester.

Here is a bulleted format of my weeks 1-13:

  • Smells started bothering me big time by week 5
  • Weeks 6-10 were the hardest and very confusing. I’d never felt that way before. I was nauseous but I needed to eat but nothing sounded good and my stomach was hurting and…
  • The most stressful time of the day was meal time. I couldn’t possibly know what would go down well until it was time to eat but the process of finding and smelling and thinking of food was just terrrrrible.

Hmmm…water sounds terrible? Where have I heard that before? Many of the struggles I had in my first trimester were struggles you likely had in your early postop days. The good news there? It won’t be your first rodeo!

Statistics will say about 25% of women will not experience morning sickness in their pregnancy. Many of the rest of us will battle those hard days knowing the hormones are necessary for our growing peanut but struggling to keep up with daily life.

Let me talk for a moment to those of you who are struggling with morning sickness, but are a postop patient.

For years I’ve said “just do what you have to do” in the first trimester. I can firmly say that I completely agree with my own advice in this time. 

Do what you have to do.

My hope (and my experience) is that this is a relatively short period of time. It didn’t feel like it in the moment, but in the grand scheme of things, for me it was a month of chaos that I don’t feel bad about. I had moments I felt bad about it and felt like I was gaining way too much weight and fearing having a big baby and yada yada yada.

Seriously. Do what you have to do. Pack your bag of snacks before you leave the house. DO NOT GO EMPTY HANDED. Ahem. Seriously, the fastest way to go downhill is to have nothing and no where to go. I packed some healthy things and try my best to start there – mostly fruit and nuts. I read somewhere that raw almonds would help. Let’s be honest, nothing actually “helped” but they were mostly tolerable. Then I would pack the obligatory crackers, can of soup, graham crackers and occasionally a half a pb&j sandwich. Having things in my bag would usually help me from going to the cafeteria and finding something really greasy or sugary. Those days happened too, but not as often as they would have had I not packed my bag!

For those of you who aren’t struggling with nausea or morning sickness, an ideal postop pregnancy meal pattern may look something like this:

B- protein + fruit (eggs and a peach OR turkey sausage with a handful of grapes…)

S – protein + carb (cheese & fruit or protein bar or edamame or protein shake with fruit…)

L – protein and veggies like normal

S – protein + carb (cheese stick and strawberries OR protein bar…)

D – protein and veggies like normal

S – protein + carb (greek yogurt, cottage cheese and fruit, etc)

Some of this will vary based on your pre-pregnancy weight but this is a good starting point. It’s what the rest of us want to get to once we are feeling well!

While I firmly stand by the “do what you have to do” in the first trimester, I do want to emphasize the importance of making two VERY important things happen {most} everyday.

  • 64-96 oz hydration
  • Vitamins

I talked more in detail about postop vitamins and pregnancy in my last blog. Hopefully you were on a good vitamin routine prior to pregnancy but either way be sure to get a good routine down. Change up the times of day if you need to, have food on your stomach when you take your vitamins, etc.

Use all the tricks in your book to stay hydrated. It’s nothing you haven’t done before. For me it was decaf, unsweet tea or hot decaf chai tea. Try water bottles you can put fruit or veggies in the middle for “infused” water to blunt the flavor of plain water without something too terribly sweet. Hydration is key for both pregnancy and when you are a postop patient. Double whammy!

Even though it feels like it will never be over…it will be. I may have told my husband I just wanted to sleep until it was all over and to wake me up at week 14. He said he would be lonely and didn’t want me to do that…Just take it one moment at a time. Look at pictures of the other babies in your life (thank the Lord for my baby niece. I swear staring at photos of her baby toes were the best medicine) and know that this will all be worth it very, very soon.

Congratulations! I am sharing in the joy of your growing baby. Nothing brings tears to my eyes faster than a postop patient going through a healthy pregnancy. I mean, all pregnancy is beautiful, but how can you beat that??


Keep following for more WLS Pregnancy Posts as I walk through my own journey of body changes and baby bumps!
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