Though in today’s time thyroid has become a common disease amongst women and this is also true that women lead a healthy lifestyle and deliver healthy babies in-spite of having thyroid, one should not forget that it will always remain a serious problem and you should not neglect it at any cost. Women need to maintain an appropriate level of the thyroid hormone during pregnancy because it is not only her body but even the baby’s development under concern. So, if you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, you should immediately start the treatment without any delay.
What Is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is the condition wherein your thyroid gland (located in the neck region and shaped like a small butterfly) produces inadequate amount of thyroid hormones which is extremely important to keep our metabolism system going. You can read more about hypothyroidism here.
Top 5 Risks With Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy
Though it has been concluded that women who have thyroid can have complications with regard to their pregnancy and birthing experience, yet, properly and closely monitored thyroid levels during pregnancy can help you have a smooth ride to childbirth. Some potential risks with hypothyroidism are as follows:
- The fetus may suffer developmental delay: During the early months of pregnancy your fetus is totally dependent on your hormones. So, if your thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones to suffice your body needs, your fetus is definitely going to get lesser hormones. As thyroid hormone plays a major role in development of brain in fetus, chances are there that your child is going to have less IQ. Learning disabilities have also been found to occur in children whose mothers had thyroid
- Preclampsia: Hypothyroidism, if left untreated can lead to this condition. It is basically a very critical condition in pregnancy wherein the fetus shows signs of high blood pressure and as a consequence; damage to its organs. It can be a very serious condition, even fatal for both you and your child. At this time the only way out is to deliver the baby. But then again if it is too early to deliver the baby then you and your doctor face a huge challenge of keeping the baby healthy and giving it adequate time to mature
- Anemia: If your metabolism system isn’t working the way it should be due to lack of thyroid hormones, it can leads to increase of unhealthy blood cells in your body. Since your body is producing more blood to cope with the demands of a growing fetus, a lack of iron and other essential nutrients can hamper the growth of red blood cells. As a result, you may develop anemia. It is a condition where your blood cells don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your baby and your body tissues. Though it is normal to have mild anemia during pregnancy but if it becomes severe then there is potential threat to both you and your baby. You may feel tired and fatigued all the time and anemia may also lead to preterm delivery
- Low Birth Weight: Your baby may be born underweight as well as pre-mature (before 37 weeks). Low birth weight poses many problems for your baby, ranging from growth and development to extended time in the NICU
- Still Birth: Some studies also show a higher rate of still births to mothers who have untreated or un-diagnosed thyroid conditions.
So as to stay on the safe side, a thyroid test is conducted if you go for a prenatal check up and thyroid levels are checked regularly throughout pregnancy. Early detection and treatment play a pivotal role in maternal and fetal health. Anti-thyroid drugs are prescribed to women and frequent monitoring of thyroid levels are a must
How Can I Take Charge Of Hypothyroidism?
If you have been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, you should immediately seek medical attention, follow the treatment plan strictly and take thyroid friendly diet. Take a lot of care of what you eat. Remember, you are not a single person anymore, there is a tiny life growing inside you who needs the best of nutrients and adequate amount of hormones from you.
- Take your diet seriously: Take a balanced diet. Ask your doctor to give you a proper food plan. Follow it strictly. Your doctor may suggest you some prenatal vitamins and mineral supplements. Take them as prescribed. Read more about diet with hypothyroidism here
- Include a light exercise routine in your daily schedule: Hypothyroidism leads to weight gain. The more bulky you will get the more though time you will have during the time of delivery and also the lesser space your fetus will get to grow inside you. So, as important it is to not to over exert yourself, it is equally important to keep your body active. An active body has better metabolism and in turn your thyroid glands work better. Don’t forget you are pregnant; do a research on the internet which exercises will help you control your thyroid condition and do them religiously. Keep them light but do them every day. Read more about exercises with hypothyroidism here
- Meditation: Your doctor too will suggest you that to keep your mind stable and focused at one place, you should do meditation. Researches have also proved the meditation helps a lot in controlling thyroid. Start by doing it for 10 minutes and then gradually to 45 mins to an hour, you will see the results in just a matter of few days
Remember, you can beat hypothyroidism. All you have to do is take good care of yourself.