Study to support pregnant women’s nutritional needs after bariatric surgery

Michelle Putt Uncategorised

Women who are in their late-third trimester of pregnancy and have previously had bariatric surgery are wanted for a study aimed at better understanding their specific needs.

The Bariatric sUrgery and Maternal nutrition in Pregnancy (BUMP) study will recruit at least 50 women over the next 12 months who are at least 34-weeks pregnant and have previously undergone weight loss surgery. Participants will complete an anonymous online survey and optional telephone interview.

Taylor Guthrie, a CRE HiPP PhD Research Support Grant recipient, is leading the study as part of her PhD to better understand how diet quality and micronutrient status impacts maternal and offspring wellbeing. 

“Conducting this study I’ve had the privilege of meeting many women from this community who all have different stories to tell,” Ms Guthrie, a University of Queensland researcher, said.

“Listening to these made me realise that we don’t know much about women’s experiences and I hadn’t yet asked women what kind of care they want. The CRE HiPP grant enabled me to pursue this research question.”

Bariatric surgery reduces or removes part of the stomach, restricting the amount of food or liquid a person can consume at any given time. 

“Women can usually only tolerate one cup of food or fluid at one time, which produces quite the dilemma – do I eat or do I drink now? Do I indulge in my favourite food, or do I prioritise veggies? Add in morning sickness, reflux, fatigue and the added nutrient needs for pregnancy and you’ve got a challenge on your hands,” Ms Guthrie said.

“Some women really struggle to eat enough and therefore can’t gain the recommended amount of weight and we think these women are at greater risk of small babies or preterm birth. Others struggle to get all the necessary vitamin and minerals from their diet and develop deficiencies during pregnancy. We are still learning about the consequences of this for Mum and baby long term.”

Ms Guthrie said she hoped her study would provide “rich description of women’s experiences, desired care and identify consumer priorities for future research”, which in turn would translate into women receiving care that better aligned with their needs and resulted in better health outcomes for these women and their families.

“I really enjoy networking with women from this community and hearing their stories. I’m glad that I’ve been able to build this into my doctorate and formalise this into a study which will hopefully lead to more woman-centred care.” 

Women who are more than 34 weeks pregnant and previously undergone bariatric surgery can sign up for the research here: