The importance of iodine
A soon as you discover you’re pregnant, looking after your body becomes a bigger priority. A recent report released from the COAG Health Council found that while most mums-to-be are aware that they should be taking supplements containing folic acid for their unborn baby, they aren’t getting enough iodine and don’t understand the benefits. Senior clinical adviser in Obstetrics at NSW Health, Professor Michael Nicholl says; “Rapid brain growth occurs in the first 1000 days of a baby’s life, but most pregnant and breastfeeding women have inadequate iodine levels.” Most pregnant women should be consuming around 220 micrograms per day, which is higher than the average person. “Iodine supports the healthy development of the nervous system, coordination, alertness and the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch,” Michael says. The good news is that you can increase your iodine levels by eating a healthy diet, including seafood (limit yourself to two portions of cooked fish a week), bread, eggs, dairy and iodised salt. However, it might be difficult to reach the daily intake through your diet alone. “We recommend pregnant women consume 150 micrograms per day through supplements as most foods in Australia contain only small amounts of iodine,” Michael says.