General Updates / My Personal Experiences / Pregnancy and Parenting

General Update #32

Thyroid Postpartum Update

Read the last blog in this series.

My last general update blog was posted in February 2022, where I announced my second pregnancy, following the last update before that in May 2021, sharing that my health was really stable, with nothing much to be improved upon.

As I write this post, it is February 2023, and I felt I was due a check-in to discuss how things are now that I am seven months postpartum from my second child (and what I suspect will be my last – I’ll explain why further on in this article!).

I also quickly want to update you all on my maternity leave /reduced working hours plans. I have been itching to get back to my thyroid advocacy work in terms of having dedicated hours to spend on it each week, for a while, however, the amount of hours I can currently spend on it are still very limited compared to what I had before children. My current focus is to enjoy the early years of my two little boys and once they’re both in school, have a lot more time to get stuck in on a daily basis again.

My last General Update blog shared the news that I was five months pregnant, still happily on a combination of Armour Thyroid medication and Levothyroxine (both privately prescribed) and that, if you were interested in following how my thyroid health was managed (and medication dosed and monitored) throughout pregnancy, then you could read about this here.

My next General Update blog was always going to be when I was postpartum and focusing on recovering my health after this second pregnancy.

During my second pregnancy, my thyroid levels and medication dosage moved all over the place. This is covered in more detail here, but in short, my levels went up and down, changing rather suddenly and dramatically, leading to me feeling hugely unwell for the first six months, and with lots of extra blood tests, scans, and monitoring overall.

Just as with my first pregnancy, I reduced the thyroid medication dose back to my pre-pregnancy amount immediately after giving birth and had levels retested around six weeks later, which showed an excellent resettling of levels. Another test a further eight weeks later gave the same reassurance; optimal, stable thyroid levels with Hashimoto’s also still in remission. Another test a few months after that and now seven months postpartum showed that all were still optimal.

My ferritin levels were on the low end of normal, as well as B12, so I was advised to increase my supplementation in these. I did so and retested, which showed that they had improved.

Despite the sleep deprivation and recovery from birth, I was surprisingly feeling very well in the first few months postpartum. I wasn’t feeling the well known thyroid fatigue or any other symptoms, which I suspected may happen as my health settled.

About two to three months after giving birth, I started to experience postpartum hair loss, which eventually stopped by five months postpartum and then new hair started to grow back very quickly.

Just like with my first postpartum experience, I reached the six month mark and noticed that my health was starting to slide. However, around this time, I also went through a very stressful life event – my husband and two-year-old son were involved in a car accident, hit by a car and leaving my husband with surgery and the inability to walk without aids for some time.

I wasn’t sleeping well at all, my usual routine for eating fairly well, taking my supplements, drinking plenty of water, exercising daily and everything else that helps me keep on top of my thyroid conditions went out the window. So it’s hard to know how much of my health struggling at this time was due to dealing with a stressful event, or being six months postpartum and all kinds of shifts also occurring in my body.

The slide I saw in my health represented itself with symptoms such as acid reflux, migraines, muscle pain in the legs, constipation, an itchy and sore scalp and more, returning.

As life gradually got more back on track, and my husband could resume his usual abilities, I was also able to get back on top of looking after my health. And with this, I saw huge improvements in all these symptoms. As I type this, I am still working on resolving acid reflux, but the other symptoms are much better. I do however find it hard to pinpoint how much of my tiredness / fatigue is down to my health conditions versus being a busy mum of two little ones!

Exercise wise, I am mostly just walking at the moment, but as things continue to settle in terms of family life and my health, I hope to reinstate some weekly yoga and well as the cardio dance classes I enjoy so much. However, it will all be about balance. I have no interest in over exercising and taking steps back in my thyroid health (causing flares).

So, I am currently on Armour + Levothyroxine, the same dosage as prior to this pregnancy and I have been on for around two and a half years in total now. It’s working well, I can’t complain.

Overall, I am doing well. Motherhood with a two year old and baby is tiring but also very rewarding. I am enjoying this time in my life when my young children are my priority.

The reason I feel this will be my last pregnancy is mainly because my husband and I have always wanted two children and feel our family is complete at two. But also, I can’t deny that how hard this last pregnancy was on my body, thyroid condition, being high-risk and then recovering my health postpartum, does also factor in. My first pregnancy was straightforward, but I felt my body was struggling so much with the second!

Remember: you can keep up to date with my personal health journey via Instagram. My Instagram is updated with realtime updates and you’ll be able to follow along as and when everything happens over there!

See also: What Happens to Thyroid Health: Postpartum

How is your thyroid health at the moment? What has the past year been like for you? Feel free to add to the discussion in the comments below.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

About Author

Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts and at events about the many aspects thyroid disease affects and how to overcome these. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her bestselling books include "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate" and "You, Me and Hypothyroidism".

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