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Postpartum Thyroiditis

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So by now we know that it is very important to let our doctors know if we have thyroid problems upon becoming pregnant. Just as a reminder, if thyroid conditions remain unchecked during pregnancy, it could result in the following health problems for you as the mother: pre-eclampsia and/or early labor, placental abnormalities or prolonged and unusual bleeding after delivery.

Additionally, unchecked thyroid conditions could result in the following health problems for your baby: fetal tachycardia (fast heart rate), small for gestational age babies, prematurity, stillbirths, congenital malformations, neonatal hyperthyroidism (rare if mom is on drug therapy for hyperthyroidism), and impaired brain development.

If who are having unusual symptoms and suspect it may be your thyroid, don’t be afraid to request that your doctor look into the matter. So, we’ve got that down.

Postpartum Thyroiditis

Now, say you are a mother who has just given birth. Your doctor has told you that more than likely you will experience postpartum thyroiditis due to your previous medical history. Just what does that mean? First of all, let’s just break down those two words. Postpartum means after delivery or after you’ve had your baby. Thyroiditis means the swelling of the thyroid. This is basically a general word used to describe a whole host of thyroid conditions, including postpartum thyroiditis.


According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), women can start to experience the first phase of postpartum thyroiditis within one to four months after delivery. This is the thyrotoxic phase. The thyrotoxic phase will last for one to three months. The symptoms of this phase are: anxiety, insomnia, palpitations, fatigue, weight loss, and irritability. The ATA additionally reports that since these conditions are normally attributed to the stress of having a baby, this stage may be missed altogether.

The next phase will normally occur four to eight months after delivery, lasting nine to twelve months thereafter. This is the hypothyroidism phase.

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Thanks for a very informative and interesting article. The thyroid is so small, and yet has such complex effects on our bodies. I learned a lot from your post that I'd not known before. Thanks again.

August 11, 2009 - 8:20am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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