Hypothyroid and Pregnancy.
Many complications can arise during a pregnancy. These issues can be the cause of a significant amount of stress and anxiety. Knowing how your current medical conditions can change during pregnancy can help prevent much of this stress and the possible complications. Hypothyroid is one of those conditions that can change during the course of your pregnancy.
Thyroid hormone and the baby
Hypothyroid conditions, such as Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism, can either initially present during a pregnancy or the current treatment can become inadequate to sustain normal thyroid hormone levels. The thyroid hormone is vital to brain development during early pregnancy. During the first 10-12 weeks of gestation (pregnancy), the baby is completely dependent on receiving the thyroid hormone from the mother. The baby does start to produce some thyroid hormone on it’s own once the thyroid gland has developed.
Risks of untreated hypothyroid conditions
Untreated hypothyroid conditions can have a number of effects on the mother and baby. Hypothyroidism has been associated with preterm birth, pre-eclampsia, anemia, low birth weight, and even miscarriage. Risks of untreated maternal hypothyroid to the baby can lead to impaired brain development.
Treatment during Pregnancy
If you are currently being treated for a thyroid condition, you need to have your thyroid labs checked as soon as pregnancy is detected. Medication dosage should be adjusted to maintain normal thyroid function. Thyroid function is considered to be normal when TSH, Free T4, and Free T3 levels are all within normal range.
If medication dosage is changed your doctor should recheck your labs within 4 weeks to determine that levels have normalized. Thyroid function should be checked every 6 to 8 weeks throughout pregnancy to ensure that the thyroid function is normal. Typically, medication type does not need to be changed during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned with using your current medication.