During pregnancy, the thyroid gland is strongly impacted by all the hormonal and metabolic changes that occur in the body. When we do not support the thyroid with appropriate nutrition and overall health it can result in possible thyroid dysfunction or disease during and/or after pregnancy. Getting your thyroid levels checked prior to conception, during pregnancy and then 12 weeks postpartum provides you with knowledge and awareness so you can support your body appropriately for a healthy pregnancy and postpartum. For those with thyroid challenges prior to pregnancy, it can be managed with no complications, however, the risks of low or high thyroid hormone levels become much more apparent during pregnancy.
What if you have a thyroid challenge prior to pregnancy?
The best thing that you can do is get your thyroid working optimally prior to conception. This can be done various ways. Some women will opt for taking medication to compensate for a thyroid not functioning well while others will focus on supporting the thyroid through other ways such as a cleanse (to reset the body), natural remedies, supplementation and nutrition.
Possible risks of experiencing Hyperthyroidism (overactive) during pregnancy:
Pregnancy can create thyroid issues even if your levels were normal prior to pregnancy.Please note that some of these risks can be a natural result of pregnancy and/or from another cause. Always check with your practitioner and have your thyroid levels checked as needed.
Possible risks of experiencing Hypothyroidism (underactive) during pregnancy:
Pregnancy can create a low performing thyroid even if your levels were normal prior to pregnancy. Please note that some of these risks can be a natural result of pregnancy and/or from another cause. Always check with your practitioner and have your thyroid levels checked as needed.
Natural Remedies and Nutritional Support for a Healthy Thyroid
Whether your thyroid is functioning well or not, building up and supporting your thyroid can naturally have huge impacts on your pregnancy and baby’s health. Some key nutrients needed for thyroid health include zinc (food sources include: oysters, beef, poultry, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, kale, garlic, nuts, seeds)mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, kale, and garlic mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, kale, and garlic, high quality Vitamin D3 liquid supplement, Selenium (food sources are brazil nuts, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, flax, broccoli), Vitamin A (food sources: sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, dried apricots, cantaloupe, bell peppers), Iodine (food sources are kelp, cranberries, navy beans, strawberries) and Iron (beef, cacao, spinach, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, dried fruit, eggs, oysters). Additional strategies to support a healthy thyroid can include supplementation (refer to a functional medicine doctor for more information and guidance) and removing certain foods that inhibit its function such as gluten.
Melanie is the Wellness Coordinator for Willowsong Midwifery Care, a Certified Health Coach (through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and AADP), and more importantly a mom of 3 small children. She is very passionate about empowering moms and children in attaining overall health and wellness and loves supporting Willowsong Families with health classes, free initial prenatal consults, information via blogging and much more! Melanie approaches health from a holistic perspective, meaning that she believes each component of our lives creates our overall health and wellness. You are welcome to connect with Melanie anytime via email (Melanie@Food4Thoughtdm.com).
Please don’t just take Melanie’s experience…as always consult with your medical professional and your own self understanding when making health decision; Melanie is not a medical professional, a nutritionist or dietician. She does not hold a degree in medicine, dietetics, or nutrition. Melanie makes no claim to any specialized medical training, nor does she dispense medical advice or prescriptions. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, preconception or pregnancy health. It is intended to be provided for informational, educational, and self-empowerment purposes ONLY. Please consult with your doctor or wellness team if you have questions and then make your own well-informed decisions based upon what is best for your unique genetics, culture, conditions, and stage of life.