Nine Months: New mums, beware of hormonal imbalance during pregnancy

In this episode of Nine Months, author Meghna Pant is in conversation with Dr. Velumani from Thyrocare. They discuss how young mothers can take care of themselves during pregnancy and in the post delivery phase and especially look out for thyroid hormone imbalance.

When you become pregnant, your body goes through a variety of changes. These changes can be common and expected such as swelling and fluid retention in body parts, but there are also hormonal changes that have significant implications for you and the baby.

Pregnant women experience changes in the amount and function of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. These changes can cause mood swings in women.

According to Dr. Velumani, during pregnancy hormone imbalance gets peaked. Hormone imbalance is largely due to the functioning of the Thyroid gland. In this episode, the expert talks about the health of the new mum and the baby and how it is also related to maintaining hormonal balance in the body.

Why new mums should take care of themselves as much as they do for their babies?

Once you bring your bundle of joy home, you will have to remember a very important thing: babies are completely dependent upon their mothers for their nutrition and other needs.

Therefore, experts suggest that there are 3 things new mums should take care of:

  1. her nutrition,
  2. her fitness level, and
  3. her health.

All these three factors play a vital role in the long-term health of the child. That’s why it is very important to take good care of a new mum in terms of her nutrition. At the same time, her hormonal levels should also be monitored.

Many women develop hormone imbalance during pregnancy

Why is it important to check and monitor the hormonal levels in the body of a new mum? The fact is that a new mum or a mum-to-be can't control her hormones on her own-- it’s a biological process, and it occurs naturally.

As mentioned earlier, hormonal imbalance gets peaked in women during pregnancy and this is largely due to the Thyroid gland.

You might know that the thyroid gland is an endocrine gland in your neck. It makes two hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are necessary for all the cells in your body to function properly.

According to medical experts, these Thyroid hormones are critical for development of the foetal and neonatal brain. In addition, they also affect many other aspects of pregnancy and foetal growth. Hypothyroidism (the occurrence of low levels of thyroid hormones), for example, in either the mother or foetus, frequently results in foetal disease. In humans, this includes a high incidence of mental retardation.

The foetus has two potential sources of thyroid hormones: it's own thyroid and the thyroid of it's mother.

Human foetuses develop the ability to synthesize thyroid hormones at roughly 12 weeks of gestation. Studies suggest that there is substantial transfer of maternal thyroid hormones across the placenta. That is why it is important that a pregnant mum gets the right nutrition so that the baby also gets the right nutritional inputs through the mother.

Can hormone imbalance be treated?

Pregnancy creates an increased demand on the thyroid gland.This should not be a problem for women with normal levels of hormones but for women who suffer from subclinical hypothyroidism (having lower levels of hormones in the body), the extra demands of pregnancy can lead to diseases.

That’s why new mums should monitor their weight and stamina after delivery as it would signal any deficiencies that the body might be suffering from.

The good news is that Thyroid imbalances can be monitored and treated easily. Your medical consultant should be able to help you in this regard.

A visual how-to-survival guide, Nine Months brings expert advice, knowledge and perspective to make your pregnancy an easy and a memorable experience for you.