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The Test Every New Mom Needs

Utter exhaustion or wired to the hilt -- moms often go through one extreme or the other. But it could mean something more than just the pressure that comes with being on call 24/7. That's why you should have your thyroid checked three to six months after having a baby -- no matter how many babies you've had -- to rule out a thyroid disorder, says Lawrence Wood, M.D., medical director of the Thyroid Foundation of America.

One in 20 women develops this condition as her body adjusts postpregnancy. Having an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) triggers anxiety or the jitters, along with a rapid pulse, tremors, or muscle weakness; an underactive gland (hypothyroidism) means you'll feel sluggish, cold, or depressed and have muscle cramps or an unusually slow pulse. Both conditions can be treated effectively with medication.

Considering having another baby? If thyroid problems run in your family, get tested beforehand. An unmanaged condition can lead to a low-birth-weight baby or even a miscarriage.

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