Hypothyroidism In Pregnancy
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Hypothyroidism is a condition that develops when the thyroid gland makes little or no thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones help control body temperature, heart rate, growth, and how you gain or lose weight.
- Thyroid hormone: This medicine will bring your thyroid hormone level back to normal. Do not stop taking your medicines unless your primary healthcare provider tells you to do so.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or endocrinologist as directed:
You may need to return for more blood tests to check your thyroid hormone level. This will show if you are getting the right amount of thyroid medicine. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
The thyroid gland uses iodine to work correctly and to make thyroid hormones. Your primary healthcare provider may tell you to eat foods that are rich in iodine. He will tell you how much of these foods to eat. Milk and seafood are good sources of iodine.
Keep track of your baby's movements:
Keep track of how much your baby moves every day. This can be done in the morning, in the evening, or both. Wait 1 hour after you eat. Write down every movement that you feel from your baby. You may want to count for an extra 30 minutes if you are having trouble feeling movement. Call your primary healthcare provider if you notice that your baby is moving less.
Keep track of your blood pressure and weight:
- You may need to check and write down your blood pressure. Blood pressure kits and blood pressure monitors can be bought at drug stores or medical supply stores. Caregivers will teach you how to check your blood pressure, and tell you how often to do this. It is important to measure your blood pressure on the same arm and in the same position each time. Keep track of your blood pressure readings, along with the date and time you took them. Take this record with you to your prenatal visits.
- Weigh yourself daily before breakfast after you urinate. Weight gain may be a sign of extra fluid in your body. Keep track of your daily weights and take the record with you to your prenatal visits.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or endocrinologist if:
- You are losing weight without trying.
- You have a fever.
- You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
- You have pain, redness, and swelling in your muscles and joints.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You do not have any more thyroid medicine, or stopped taking it without your primary healthcare provider's advice.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You faint or have a seizure.
- You feel your baby is restless and always kicking, or is very still and not moving at all.
- You have sudden chest pains or trouble breathing, or swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet.
- You have diarrhea, tremors, or trouble sleeping.
- Your water breaks, or you are bleeding from your vagina.
- Your signs and symptoms return or become worse.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.