If you are an expecting mom or one day want to be and currently have some type of thyroid disease, you may want to pay attention. It’s tricky enough to watch out for ourselves, but when our little ones are involved, what can be done or what is involved?
First, under normal circumstances, according to the American Thyroid Association, know that in the first three to four months, the baby is completely dependant on you as the mother in regards to thyroid hormone production. Afterward, your baby will begin to start thyroid hormone production on his or her own. You must, however, continue to take in necessary amounts of iodine in order for the baby to successfully do this. In the United States, this is not usually a problem, since adequate iodine is obtained through diet (table salt).
Risks to Baby – Hyperthyroidism
The American Thyroid Association lists three risks to the baby when it comes to pregnant women with hyperthyroidism. They are as follows: (1) In mothers with uncontrolled hyperthyroidism: fetal tachycardia (fast heart rate), small-sized gestation age babies, prematurity, stillbirths and possible congenital malformations. (2) Neonatal hyperthyroidism (rare if mom is on drug therapy for hyperthyroidism) (3) Birth defects brought on by anti-thyroid drug therapy (ATD). It is very important to use the lowest possible dosage of ATD to control hyperthyroidism to minimize the effects on the baby. And yes, mothers can breast feed their babies when on a low dose of ATDs, although it is advisable to monitor the baby’s thyroid often.
Risks to Baby – Hypothyroidism
In hypothyroidism, according to the American Thyroid Association, mothers with uncontrolled hypothyroidism have a high possibility of having children with impaired brain development. This is the reason why women with even currently diagnosed hypothyroidism should be tested. Then, the doctor can prescribe or adjust any necessary medications.
If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant, the first step is being aware.