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Hypothyroidism in Pregnancy

AMBULATORY CARE:

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 and Parathyroid Glands

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry, flaky skin, or brittle fingernails
  • Thin hair
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Swollen thyroid gland
  • Depression or irritability

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You faint or have a seizure.
  • You have sudden chest pains or trouble breathing, or swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your water breaks, or you are bleeding from your vagina.
  • You have diarrhea, tremors, or trouble sleeping.

Call your doctor if:

  • You feel your baby is restless and always kicking, or is very still and not moving at all.
  • You are losing weight without trying.
  • Your signs and symptoms return or become worse.
  • You are out of thyroid medicine.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment:

Thyroid medicine will bring your thyroid hormone level back to normal. The dose may be adjusted during your pregnancy. Your thyroid hormone level will be checked regularly to make sure you get the right dose. You may also need iodine supplements or eat foods higher in iodine. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on other medicines you may need.

Manage hypothyroidism:

  • Get more iodine. The thyroid gland uses iodine to work correctly and to make thyroid hormones. Your healthcare provider may tell you to eat foods that are rich in iodine. He or she will tell you how much of these foods to eat. Milk and seafood are good sources of iodine. You may also need iodine supplements.
  • Keep track of your baby's movements. Keep track of how much your baby moves every day. Wait 1 hour after you eat. Write down every movement that you feel from your baby.
  • Check your blood pressure and write it down as often as directed. 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.
    How to take a Blood Pressure
  • Weigh yourself daily before breakfast after you urinate. More weight gain than recommended during your pregnancy 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.
    Weight Checks THA

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

You may need to return often for blood tests to monitor 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.

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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.

Learn more about Hypothyroidism in Pregnancy (Ambulatory Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.