Thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid gland, which is located in the front of the neck – right below the voice box. These hormones help to regulate your heart rate, metabolism, and other bodily functions. Many endocrine disorders are traced to either insufficient or overbearing thyroid hormone production.
If you are pregnant, you need a healthy amount of thyroid hormones in order for the baby’s brain and nervous system to develop properly. For the first trimester, your baby relies on your body for thyroid hormones; after that point, the baby’s own thyroid can start to produce some of their own hormones.
If you have thyroid problems and you are pregnant, you can still have a healthy pregnancy with proper prenatal care as directed by your OB/GYN. Let’s talk about hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and how they can affect your baby during pregnancy.
Hyperthyroidism During Pregnancy
Having an overactive thyroid is a health condition called hyperthyroidism. Pregnant women who have hyperthyroidism tend to have difficulty reaching a healthy pregnancy weight. These women are also at risk of developing preeclampsia and congestive heart failure, which are both very dangerous conditions.
A pregnant woman with an overactive thyroid may experience symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, tremors, heat sensitivity, and fatigue. There are risks associated with hyperthyroidism, including miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight.
For patients with Graves’ disease – in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland and causes hyperthyroidism – pregnancy should be carefully planned. It is recommended that women with this disease stabilize their thyroid hormones before getting pregnant.
If left untreated during pregnancy, high thyroid levels can also lead to your baby producing too much thyroid hormone. A newborn with an overactive thyroid can experience a rapid heart rate, the premature closing of the skull, low body weight, and high irritability.
Hypothyroidism During Pregnancy
Producing too little thyroid hormone is a condition called hypothyroidism, which is commonly caused by an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s disease. The symptoms associated with the condition include constipation, weight gain, cognitive issues, sensitivity to cold temperatures, and fatigue.
Pregnant women with hypothyroidism can have anemia and high blood pressure. The risks for the baby are similar to those caused by hyperthyroidism, such as miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight.
Having a healthy pregnancy can be a challenge for a woman who has thyroid problems, but an experienced obstetrician can help you have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby.
OB/GYN in Syracuse
If you are pregnant and you have thyroid disease, your pregnancy is classified as a high-risk pregnancy. Our obstetricians are trained to handle all kinds of high-risk pregnancies, and we will be there for you during pregnancy and post-delivery. We have delivered thousands of healthy babies and will deliver many more.
University OB/GYN Associates is conveniently located in several locations across Syracuse. We usually receive patients with high-risk pregnancies at the Regional Perinatal Center at the Upstate Health Care Center.
To make an appointment with one of our compassionate obstetricians here in Syracuse, contact our friendly team today by calling us at (315) 464-5162. We look forward to being your healthcare partner during this joyous time in your life!