Is my child hypothyroid because of something I did during pregnancy?

No. In most cases the cause is not known and there is no way to prevent it.

Will my baby be ‘normal’?

Yes. In the past, hypothyroid children were often not diagnosed until they were a few months old. This meant that some had learning difficulties or mild clumsiness. Now, however, babies are screened when they are about a week old. This means that they will get treatment earlier and there is virtually no risk of associated development problems. It’s really important to make sure that your baby has its heel prick (Guthrie) test. If they haven’t had one, contact your midwife or health visitor.

If I have any more children, will they have congenital hypothyroidism as well?

Unless your child has the rare, inherited form of hypothyroidism (see below) the risk of having another child with hypothyroidism is low.

The rare type of hypothyroidism where the gland is in the right place but does not produce thyroxine normally can be inherited and there is a risk that any future children you have may also be affected. A genetic counsellor will be able to advise you.

See also Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis FAQ.