Postpartum thyroiditis is an uncommon condition in which a previously normal-functioning thyroid gland — a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck just below your Adam's apple — becomes inflamed within the first year after childbirth.

Postpartum thyroiditis often lasts several weeks to several months. However, postpartum thyroiditis can be difficult to recognize because its symptoms are often mistakenly attributed to the stress of having a newborn and postpartum mood disorders.

For most women who develop postpartum thyroiditis, thyroid function returns to normal within 12 to 18 months of the start of symptoms. However, some women who experience postpartum thyroiditis develop permanent complications.

Aug. 20, 2013