About the Pregnancy Project


Our Pregnancy Project team includes doctors, patients and an endocrine nurse. We are working to increase awareness of the risks of thyroid in pregnancy. Our goal is to inform the medical community and the general public about current research-based information on thyroid in pregnancy.


  • Publish articles in medical publications focusing on midwives and GPs.
  • Publish articles in newspapers or women’s magazines directed towards the general public.
  • Attend medical conferences and distribute information to the medical Preg_Proj_lunch_meeting_Chan_Janis_John_Geoff_Penny_smallcommunity.
  • Maintain current information about thyroid in pregnancy on the BTF website.


The results of the CATS study headed by Prof John Lazarus was published as ‘Antenatal Thyroid Screening and Childhood Function’ in the The New England Journal of Medicine in February, 2012.

Nikki Kieffer, Endocrine Nurse Specialist Dept of Diabetes and Endocrinology Leicester Royal Infirmary completed and published research entitled "Thyroxine replacement in pregnancy and pre-conception: An audit of patient and GP knowledge of guidelines and current clinical practice in Leicestershire.” Nikki Kieffer was also interviewed on Inside Health BBC Radio 4 about her research and thyroid in pregnancy on 28 Feb 2012.


Prof John Lazarus spoke at the German Thyroid Society, Berlin (Potsdam) together with Roberto Negro. They certainly are very interested about thyroid in pregnancy and screening leading to quite a lively debate.

Dr Shaio Chan spoke on Thyroid in Pregnancy at the BTF Milton Keynes local group meeting on 3 December, 2011.

NEWS - The American Thyroid Association published Guidelines of the American Thyroid Association for the Diagnosis and Management of Thyroid Disease During Pregnancy and Postpartum in summer, 2011.  These guidelines have been endorsed by the British Thyroid Association.

The Pregnancy Project Group welcomes Dr David Kerbel, General Practitioner, and Dr Penny Clark, Consultant Clinical Scientist, NHS, Birmingham.

  • While attending the British Endocrine Society Conference, April 2011, some of Geoff_Beckett__Penny_Clarksmallthe members of the Pregnancy Project Group initiated a dialogue with biochemists concerning TSH reference ranges for thyroid patients who are pregnant
  • Prof John Lazarus and Dr Shiao Chan together with Dr Neil Vanes have written a review for Foetal and Maternal Medicine
  • Prof John Lazarus published 'Thyroid function in pregnancy' in the British Medical Bulletin, March 2011 (issue now online here) and 'Screening for Thyroid Dysfunction in Pregnancy: Is It Worthwhile?' Journal of Thyroid Research 2011, ID 397012 (online journal).
  • Dr Shiao Chan spoke at the British Endocrine Society Conference, April 2011, about thyroid and pregnancy
  • Nikki Kieffer, winner of the 2010 BTF Nurse Award, has begun research into using thyroid registers in a way to inform patients in the future about pregnancy and thyroid conditions




  • Articles about thyroid disease in pregnancy have been published in Children, Families and Maternity e bulletin (RCOG) March, 2010 Edition 60, RCOG News Update – published April 15. Prof John Lazarus is featured in Midirs Midwifery Digest, June 2010, Vol 20, No. 2 with his article 'Risks of Thyroid Disorder and Pregnancy'.
  • Prof Lazarus and Emma Louise Cuthbertson-Smith's, Midwife/Health Visitor, cover article entitled 'Too much or too little?' on thyroid disease in pregnancy was published in Midwives Journal (RCM) in September midwivesmagazinejenniferreading2010.
  • Creation of our TiP card, a marketing tool used to create awareness of thyroid disease in pregnancy. We have already distributed up to 5,500 of thesecards through the BTF newsletter, individual information requests, at medical conferences, and through medical professionals.
  • BTF manned an information booth at the RCGP Annual Primary Care Conference, October 7-9, 2010 in Harrogate providing information packs to GPs in attendance.


  • Created Thyroid in Pregnancy entry and published in Wikipedia, December 2010.  See Wikipedia Thyroid in Pregnancy.


Meet the Members of our Team


Prof John Lazarus MA MD FRCP (Lon Edin Glas) FRCOG FACE and BTF Trustee: 'Thyroid problems are common in pregnancy. This project will help to inform both patients and health care workers about the effects of thyroid disease in pregnancy and the treatment. I’m proud to play a part in the work'.

Dr Shiao-yng Chan, PhD MRCOG, Health Foundation Clinician Scientist Fellow, Senior Clinical Research Fellow, University of Birmingham, Honorary Consultant Obstetrician and Lead Consultant for the Endocrine Antenatal Clinic, Birmingham Women's Hospital Foundation Trust: 'In my clinical practice as an Obstetrician, I am struck by the significant lack of knowledge amongst pregnant women with thyroid disease about the potential impact their thyroid disorder has on their pregnancy. That is why many do not seek any pre-conception counselling and some are not motivated to be compliant with treatment'.

Dr David Kerbel, MBChB MRCGP, inner city GP working in Leicester. He is a GP trainer and appraiser. In addition Dr Kerbel teaches seminars about primary care hypothyroid management to registrars training to be GP's.  "My interest in hypothyroidism began with my wife's diagnosis and struggle to get adequate treatment. I am concerned about medical management of hypothyroidism which doesn't listen and respond to patients (but just manages blood test results.) I believe in aggressive treatment with levothyroxine aiming to get TSH below 2 (not just within screening range)."

Nikki Kieffer, Endocrine Practice Nurse: 'I have come to realise that women who are already known to be hypothyroid are not receiving optimal care and often under-treated [with levothyroxine]. The baby is most in need of maternal thyroxine during the first trimester but usually these women are not seen in clinic until well into their second trimester. My aim would be to educate GPs and midwives to be aware of the importance of optimal replacement before conception or at the very least from the beginning of pregnancy'.

Dr Penelope Clark, Consultant Clinical Scientist, NHS, Birmingham

Janis Hickey, BTF Director and thyroid patient: 'When I was pregnant with my first baby 25 years ago there was not a lot of information for expectant mothers with thyroid disease. Now things have moved on: research has led to better understanding and better health. We want to make sure that all women with thyroid disease are informed about the action to take to ensure good health for themselves and their babies'.

Julia Priestley, BTF Project Facilitator: 'Knowing the risks of thyroid disease in pregnancy creates an urgency for awareness. I am glad to be a part of such important work'.





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British Thyroid Association British Thyroid Association - medical professionals encouraging the highest standards in patient care and research.

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