Importance Of Iodine During Pregnancy

4 min read

Written by Pradeep


Once you discover you are pregnant with your precious bundle, you are surrounded with well wishes and lots of advice about what to do and what to eat. Something that is a must during this phase is ensuring you have a wholesome and nutritious diet that is supplemented by all required proteins and minerals that ensure both the mother to be and baby are safe and healthy in every sense of the word. While everyone is aware about the importance of vitamins, folates and iron in a pregnancy diet, many tend to overlook the importance of iodine in a pregnant lady’s diet. Iodine is one mineral that is absolutely essential for you during your pregnancy and the next question arises as to how this can also be included in your diet.
iodine during pregnancy

Why is Iodine Necessary During Pregnancy?

Iodine is natural element that is vital during your pregnancy phase as it extremely imperative for proper development and growth of the fetal nervous system and brain too. An expectant mom requires higher levels of iodine in her diet that is vitally important for her and the baby growing inside. This wonderful mineral is also helpful to control the metabolic rates in your baby’s system. Another important function of iodine is regulation of the thyroid gland. Iodine has also been proven to hike up IQ levels in your unborn child. Deficiency of iodine during conception can lead to a lot of unwanted issues like still birth, low IQ level in children, premature birth or even an abortion.

How Much Iodine Does a Pregnant Lady Require?

It has been found that expectant moms require around 220 mcg of iodine a day. One needs to understand that it is quite okay if you are unable to have the required amount on a daily basis. You just need to ensure you have proportionate quantities of iodine spread over the week.

How Can You Derive Iodine From Your Diet?

Your next doubt would be what would be the best foods that contain the ideal quantity of iodine required during this period. The ideal way to add iodine to your diet is to begin using iodized salt when you cook food. Adding a prenatal vitamin to your diet that normally contains around 150 mcg of iodine is also a wise step. Actually iodine traces are present in considerable quantities in food products like milk and dairy items like cheese, curd, sea food, brewers yeast and a lot of veggies. Given below in detail are the products that contain iodine.

  1. Baked potato in its jacket : 60mcg
  2. One cup of milk : 99 mcg
  3. One gram of Iodized salt : 77 mcg
  4. 3 ounces of cod : 99 mcg
  5. One hard boiled egg : 12 mcg
  6. 3 ounces of tuna : 17 mcg
  7. 2 fish sticks : 35 mcg
  8. 3 ounces of shrimp : 35 mcg
  9. Cheddar cheese : 12 mcg
  10. Strawberries : 13 mcg

sources of iodine
All the above mentioned food products apart from some veggies also contain adequate traces of iodine that is ideal for you during this pregnancy phase. In most cases, your iodine requirements during pregnancy period are met by consumption of iodine rich foods itself. But if you happen to exceed the required doses of iodine content in your diet, it can also cause unwanted adverse effects like vomiting, mouth pain and nausea. On the other hand, if your doctor finds that your iodine levels are low, then you may require taking prescribed supplements.

Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency in Expectant Moms

Here are some of the most important tell tale signs that you need to be aware of that imply a drop in iodine levels.

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Being depressed
  • Enlargement of your thyroid gland
  • Cold intolerance

If you find that you have any of the above mentioned symptoms, the best course would be to get in touch with your doctor at once and ensure your iodine levels are fine.

Does one Need To Monitor Iodine Levels During Pregnancy?

It is not very easy to check out your iodine levels accurately. Checking levels of thyroid hormone is one way to check out iodine levels. If this happens to fall within normal ranges, you can rest assured your iodine levels are within safe zones.
All the above mentioned facts point out the importance of normal levels of iodine in a pregnant lady’s diet. So it is imperative that you make sure that your iodine levels are within normal ranges that will surely ensure a trouble free pregnancy and a healthy baby with good IQ levels. And your doctor would be the best person to advice you about what needs to be included in your daily diet to ensure your levels of iodine are normal during this delicate phase.


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