Pregnancy and Thyroid, Everything You Need To Know

Thyroid can create complications during pregnancy. Getting thyroid levels tested before conception is advised by doctors.

Written by: Chanchal Sengar Updated at: 2021-02-28 12:35

Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are key elements related to conception and must be therefore investigated & treated. Hypothyroidism can have serious consequences such as miscarriage, premature baby and even difficulty in conceiving. According to Dr. Madhavi Reddy, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, HRBR, Bangalore, in order to conceive, an expedite pregnancy close monitoring of TSH & T4 levels is mandatory.

Thyroid and Pregnancy

If a parent has thyroid, children may get it too. But apart from this, there can be several reasons for thyroid like family history or being obese, it becomes critical to address all the symptoms before planning conception. Usually, couples do not consider getting thyroid test done as they plan a pregnancy or let us just say that they don’t know that a thyroid test is equally important. If detected with thyroid the same must be treated with proper medications and regular blood investigations to be conducted to monitor the levels. Untreated thyroid and continuing family planning without getting it treated can create complications.

Thyroid test should be done before pregnancy planning

Apart from all the mandatory tests while planning a pregnancy, a thyroid test too holds importance in order to have a safe pregnancy. Regular monitoring of TSH levels every three weeks during pregnancy becomes crucial. At times the pregnancy vitamins or pre-pregnancy vitamins could alter the thyroid levels and thus it is ideal to have a gap of atleast 4 hours between consuming thyroid medicines and taking regular vitamins.

Also Read: How Thyroid Impacts Fertility: Hypothyroidism & Beyond

It is important for the doctor to monitor such conditions, during the pregnancy journey of the woman. Non-treatment of the same could cause hypertension, premature birth or even stillbirth.

Things to watch out post-delivery

Thyroid before and during pregnancy sound common but postpartum thyroiditis or thyroid post-delivery also exist. Once the mother gives birth postpartum thyroiditis is common and is especially critical among women with autoimmune thyroid disease as this can cause severe complications. It is to be noted that once the mother delivers the symptoms of postpartum thyroiditis develop in about 6 months and can be difficult to identify. 

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

  • Weight gain & fatigue
  • Sensitivity towards cold temperature
  • Muscle cramps
  • Difficulty in concentration
Also Read:  Strictly Avoid These Foods If You Have Underactive Thyroid or Hypothyroidism

Early symptoms of postpartum thyroiditis are

  • Disturbances in sleep patterns, fatigue, irrigational behaviour and uneven heartbeat
  • Women may also experience dryness of skin, low on energy, cramps or pains and constipation as well.
  • In fact hypothyroidism can also disrupt breastfeeding, however, hormone replacement therapy can help in curing this condition.

Advice on eating habits & thyroid care tips during and after pregnancy 

  • Consuming green and leafy vegetables such as cabbage or kale can be beneficial.
  • Food rich in iodine is avoidable 
  • Eating protein-rich food for instance lean meat, eggs is great to keep the levels under 
  • Walking, meditation or yoga for at least 30 -45 minutes can make a remarkable difference in keeping weight and thyroid under control. 

A nutritious and healthy diet coupled with exercises can ensure a smooth pregnancy and delivery. There is no doubt that a healthy lifestyle can make a remarkable difference to your pregnancy journey. Couples must get thyroid tests done before planning to ensure a smooth pregnancy and healthy childbirth.

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