Other recommendations during pregnancy
General pregnancy recommendations should be stressed to the bariatric patient, such as avoiding alcohol, drugs, and undercooked meat, as well as increasing intake of omega-3 fatty acids and avoiding fish that are high in mercury. Patients should be advised to do the following:
- Eat slowly and chew very well. It is best to try to take a half hour to eat each meal. If the patient does not stop eating when she is full, then there is an increased chance that vomiting will follow. This may lead to malnutrition and dehydration.
- Do not skip meals. Have three to five small, protein-rich meals every day. Skipping meals may lead to malnutrition.
- Avoid concentrated sugars. RYGB patients may experience dumping syndrome. For the patient with a purely restrictive procedure, it is important to avoid concentrated sugars because they are high in calories and will contribute to excessive weight gain.
- Limit fat intake. Fat is high in calories, and like sugar, will contribute to excess weight gain. Some patients may also experience nausea after eating a high fat meal.
- Maintain adequate hydration. The patient should drink six to eight 8-ounce, noncaloric, noncarbonated, noncaffeinated drinks per day. Patients should avoid drinking 15 min before, during, or 1 h after meals. Drinking immediately before a meal may cause the stomach pouch to fill up with fluid, and there will not be room to eat an adequate amount of protein. Drinking during the meal may cause the food to move quicker through the stomach, and therefore decrease a feeling of fullness. Drinking 1 h after may cause vomiting because there will not be any room for the fluid with all the food that was eaten.
- Increase intake of fiber to prevent or treat constipation.
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