By Jack Elsom For Mailonline
Published: 18:17 BST, 15 October 2019 | Updated: 18:18 BST, 15 October 2019
Obese women who have their stomachs stapled smaller are less likely to give birth to babies with defects, a study has suggested.
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, looked at data from nearly 33,000 women who weighed an average of 265lbs (120kg).
Some volunteers lost around 88lbs (40kg) through a gastric bypass. They were then compared to equally overweight women who had not had the surgery.
Scientists discovered mothers-to-be who had the life-changing procedure were 33 per cent less likely to have babies with defects.
Most of the defects were heart-related - but they also involved the central nervous system, genitals, lungs and digestive systems.
A gastric bypass involves creating a small pouch in the stomach that restricts food intake and reduces nutrient absorption
Obese women (file photo) who have their stomachs stapled smaller are 33 per cent less likely to give birth to babies with defects, Swedish scientists have found
The authors now say that contrary to suspicions, bariatric surgery does not hike the risk of birth defects - rather, it decreases them.
They say the reduced risk of child defects is down to the improvements in glucose metabolism and 'other beneficial physiologic changes'.
High maternal body mass index and spiked glucose levels are associated with offspring deficiencies.
But RYGB is also associated with nutritional deficiencies and substance abuse, the authors claim.
Dr Martin Neovius and his team found birth defects in 3.4 per cent of