g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Infertility Site

BellaOnline's Infertility Editor


Thyroid Care In Pregnancy Prevents Breech Babies

It is uncommon wisdom but taking good care of your thyroid in early pregnancy can help you to have a natural birth and avoid having a cesarian due to breech presentation. Research chows that when your thyroid hormones are low at the end of the first trimester you are more likely to have a breech birth which usually necessitates a cesarian section. Having a TSH higher than 2.5 or free thyroxine (T4) in the lowest tenth percentile of the reference range is proven to increase the risk that you baby will not turn head-down and instead may have to be born with cesarian delivery.

Most physicians will not test your thyroid during pregnancy so it is wise to ask for testing upon confirmation of pregnancy and at the end of the first and second trimester to keep your thyroid hormones stellar.

A 2004 study (1) from the Netherlands - published in BJOG - evaluated the relation between breech position at term and low/normal free T4 levels in mothers who were not experiencing overt thyroid disease.

Thyroid hormone values were assessed at twelve weeks of pregnancy in a large group of 204 women, they were divided into two groups: those with low free T4 levels - below the lower tenth percentile of the reference range - and those with healthy free T4 levels between the middle of the range and the top 90th percentile. Thyroid function was re-checked at 24 and 32 weeks.

Breech presentation at term (37 weeks) was closely tied to low free T4 levels at 12 weeks indicating that having stellar thyroid hormones in early pregnancy has a protective effect upon delivery. The researchers concluded that:

"Women with hypothyroxinaemia (fT4 level at the lowest 10th centile) during early gestation but without overt thyroid function are at risk for fetal breech presentation at term (>37 weeks of gestation)."

This study is important because it highlights the fact that free T4 levels in early pregnancy, not TSH is a risk for Breech presentation; it is important to test both the TSH and free T4 in pregnancy. Having free T4 levels in the lowest tenth percentile of the range is called 'hypothyroxinemia.' Aside from increasing the rate of breech presentation a child’s IQ can also be lowered and developmental delays are more common especially speech and hearing delays.

Another similar study (2) also examined the relationship between low thyroid function during pregnancy and breech presentation at term. One thousand and fifty eight pregnant women were observed from twelve weeks of pregnancy to term and thyroid hormone values were monitored at 12, 24 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.

The women with breech presentation at the end of pregnancy were far more likely to have a higher TSH at this time.The incidence of breech presentation was more than doubled (11% compared to 4.8%) in women with a TSH equal to or above 2.5 mIU/l at 36 weeks. The study also found that:
“Women with TSH below the 5th percentile had no breech presentations.”
It may be that having a low TSH is protective against breech birth; the study concluded that:

"Women with TSH levels above 2.5 mIU/l during end gestation are at risk for breech presentation, and as such for obstetric complications."

Another study from the Netherlands (3) followed one hundred and forty one women with breech presentation at the end of their pregnancies as they underwent 'external cephalic version' (ECV) a technique used to turn a breech baby prior to birth and tested their thyroid hormones. The study showed that women with higher TSH levels indicating poor thyroid function were less likely to have a successful ECV result necessitating cesarian birth. The study concluded that;

"Higher TSH levels increase the risk of ECV (external cephalic version) failure."

Hopefully this information will inspire you to ask your physician to test your thyroid function with a TSH and free T4 test upon confirmation of pregnancy and at the beginning of the second and third trimesters. Ideally the TSH should be below 2.5 mIU/l and the free T4 in the top third of the reference range.

1. BJOG. 2004 Sep;111(9):925-30. Low concentrations of maternal thyroxin during early gestation: a risk factor of breech presentation? Pop VJ, et al.,

2. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2010 Jun;72(6):820-4. Epub 2009 Oct 15. Maternal thyroid function during gestation is related to breech presentation at term. Kuppens SM, et al.,

3. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2011 Jan 26;11:10. Maternal thyroid function and the outcome of external cephalic version: a prospective cohort study. Kuppens SM, et al.,
Add Thyroid+Care+In+Pregnancy+Prevents+Breech+Babies to Twitter Add Thyroid+Care+In+Pregnancy+Prevents+Breech+Babies to Facebook Add Thyroid+Care+In+Pregnancy+Prevents+Breech+Babies to MySpace Add Thyroid+Care+In+Pregnancy+Prevents+Breech+Babies to Digg Thyroid+Care+In+Pregnancy+Prevents+Breech+Babies Add Thyroid+Care+In+Pregnancy+Prevents+Breech+Babies to Yahoo My Web Add Thyroid+Care+In+Pregnancy+Prevents+Breech+Babies to Google Bookmarks Add Thyroid+Care+In+Pregnancy+Prevents+Breech+Babies to Stumbleupon Add Thyroid+Care+In+Pregnancy+Prevents+Breech+Babies to Reddit

RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Infertility Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2018 by Hannah Calef. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Hannah Calef. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Hannah Calef for details.


g features
Fast Food, Fruit Intakes and Infertility

Higher Folate Levels Linked to IVF Success

Grilling May Compromise Female Fertility

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Note: BellaOnline uses cookies to help provide a consistent user experience. Our advertisers may use cookies to help customize ads. Please contact us with any question about our cookie use.

Summertime Foods
Corn on the Cob
Burgers on the Grill
Apple Pie


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2018 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor