I have passed the half way mark! Little ‘shim’ is 22 weeks and starting to develop taste buds.

Good things: Shim is moving and grooving much more! We might have an Irish dancer on our hands.

Not so good things: Hip pain is for real. Hopefully my prenatal yoga class will help me get that business under control!

photo via www.healthline.com

photo via www.healthline.com

If you are already pregnant or even thinking about having a baby, vitamins play a crucial role. The same goes for bariatric surgery. In each of these cases, your micro-nutrient needs are different than that of the general population. Specific vitamins are provided for each of these populations, but what if you are both pregnant and post op weight loss surgery. Prenatal vs bariatric vitamins– how do they compare? Do prenatal vitamins cover bariatric vitamin needs and visa versa?

First, we need to cover why vitamins are important for each of these populations. Weight loss surgery limits the capacity of the stomach restricting the volume of food one can eat. This limited quantity of food makes it necessary to add vitamin supplements to maintain adequate nutrition. Prenatal vitamins are not necessarily for you, mama, but rather for your growing baby. Certain nutrients, especially folic acid, vitamin d, and DHA are essential to the development of your baby. The foods you eat can have some of these nutrients, but typically not enough to ensure good development. Prenatal vitamins contain the nutrients you and your baby need to grow well together.

Now pregnancy after weight loss surgery is completely safe and healthy. But what do you do about vitamins— prenatal vs bariatric vitamins— which are the ones to take? If you have had a weight loss surgery and are pregnant, your vitamin needs are higher as a bariatric patient than for your pregnancy. 

prenatal vs bariatric vitamins

Since the vitamins needs for weight loss surgery are greater than the needs for your pregnancy, it is ideal to stick with bariatric specific vitamins. An over the counter vitamin will not suffice for the prenatal requirements nor the bariatric requirements. But if you are current taking a good bariatric vitamin approved by one the WeightWise dietitians, then there is no need to switch to a prenatal vitamin.

Of course it is important to remember that every pregnancy is different and your doctor might encourage an extra supplement. For example, my doctor recommended I add an Omega-3 supplement in addition to my current vitamin regimen. If you are concerned or have specific questions about your vitamins, please contact your dietitian for individual recommendations.

References:
ASMBS Allied Health Nutritional Guidelines for the Surgical Weight Loss Patient. https://asmbs.org/wp/uploads/2014/05/nutritional-guidelines.pdf.
Mahan, L.K; Escott-Stump, S. Krause’s Food & Nutrition Therapy. 12th edition.

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