Thyroid function and post-partum depression: the importance of testing TPO antibodies during and after pregnancy

Bi-weekly pregnancy tip



8 Proven Shortcuts To A Healthy Pregnancy

it's free!
Protecting your personal information is of utmost importance to me

Thyroid function is a recurring theme in women’s health that is thankfully becoming better understood, especially in the pregnancy and post-partum periods. I’ve discussed its role in both miscarriage prevention and early child development in a previous post – and now, new research has linked elevated thyroid antibodies to first-onset depression in the post-partum period.

Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies are a marker for auto-immune hypothyroidism (also known as Hashimoto’s disease) that I test in all of my hypothyroid patients to determine if their challenges stem from an auto-immune cause. Knowing that a patient’s body is mistakenly producing antibodies for healthy tissues (in this case, the immune system is attacking the thyroid gland and decreasing its ability to make thyroid hormones) helps focus treatment to include immune system modulation, in addition to thyroid hormone support/replacement.

But there’s another reason to monitor TPO antibody levels during pregnancy and beyond. A recent Dutch study has shown an association between elevated TPO and first-onset depression in the post-partum period, particularly at the four-month post-partum mark. The study’s authors recommend that all women with first-onset depression in the post-partum period should have a full thyroid evaluation, including TPO antibodies, which I fully support as well.

For both baby’s health and Mom’s, too, keeping a close eye on thyroid function, and treating when needed, remains a key component of care in the lives of these new families.

I hope you have found this helpful, and do let me know if you have any questions!

If you are hungry for more evidence-based information in your pregnancy, sign up for my free webinar: 7 Pregnancy Myths Debunked – and get the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a thriving baby.

And if you are a care-provider looking for evidence-based resources for your pregnant patients, please get in touch with us at

In health,

Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND

Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details.


Wesseloo, R. et al. (2018). Thyroid peroxidase antibodies during early gestation and the subsequent risk of first-onset postpartum depression: A prospective cohort study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 225: 399-403.


1 Comment

  1. Clodie-pascale Villeneuve says:

    I really appreciate the bi-weekly tips.

    Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



8 Proven Shortcuts To A Healthy Pregnancy

it's free!
Protecting your personal information is of utmost importance to me