Since the baby’s mother was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) in the past, it is necessary to monitor your baby’s heart rate and body temperature while in the nursery.
What is the purpose of the monitoring?
The purpose of monitoring the baby is to detect signs of overactivity of the thyroid gland. This condition could be caused by a transfer of antibodies from the mother to the baby through the placenta, which can cause hyperthyroidism. These are the same antibodies that caused the overactive thyroid in the mother.
We are pleased to inform you that the clinical monitoring and blood test results for thyroid hormone levels in your baby’s bloodstream are normal; however, in rare cases, clinical symptoms of hyperthyroidism in infants can appear during the first two weeks of life even when the results of the initial tests performed during the first three days was normal.
What symptoms are liable to indicate hyperthyroidism?
Difficulties in feeding or increased appetite
High temperature or low temperature
Signs of redness on the body or noticeable flushing
Tremors in the extremities
Staring or bulging eyes
Delayed weight gain
If any of these symptoms appear, you must call your HMO (Health Maintenance Organization - kupat holim) pediatrician or go to the emergency room. Update the staff about why you came, including the mother’s previous hyperthyroidism.
Instructions following release from the hospital:
The baby’s heart rate (pulse) must be checked by a nurse or doctor 3 days after being released from the hospital. If it is too rapid, you should take the baby to the emergency room. If the thyroid is significantly overactive, medication may be prescribed.
We recommend doing a blood test to check the level of thyroid hormones (TSH, FT4, FT3) through your HMO when the baby is 10-14 days old, even if your baby feels good and is nursing well.
The purpose of repeating the blood test is to rule out the likelihood that your baby has hyperthyroidism.
The test results should be sent to your HMO pediatrician or follow-up with a pediatric endocrinologist.
Even if the follow-up is normal during the first several days of the baby’s life. We recommend having a pediatrician examine the baby at age 2-3 months to rule out symptoms of hyperthyroidism more positively.
We wish your family Mazal Tov and Good Health
Neonatology Department Staff
Written by: Prof. Zivanit Ergaz Shaltiel – Head of the Neonatology Department
Hadassah Hospital, Mt. ScopusThe information appearing in this publication is for educational purposes only and does not constitute a medical opinion and in any event, is not a substitute for professional medical advice. All rights reserved to Hadassah © Do not photocopy, duplicate or make any commercial use without written permission from Hadassah. The booklet is intended for both men and women. 2022. Additional informational material can be viewed at the Hadassah web site: www.hadassah.org.il :
"Patient Information Sheets"