Iodine in pregnancy & breastfeeding

Abstract: Iodine deficiency is a common occurrence among pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Iodine is essential for regulating the body’s metabolism and a deficiency in this mineral can have major consequences.

Iodine deficiency is more serious in babies and young children, affecting a child’s eyesight, body movement, hearing and intelligence. In more severe cases, brain damage, a lower birth weight and birth size, and more severe body movement and hearing problems can occur.


Raising happy and healthy children is one of the most fulfilling and challenging aspects of life. Good health usually begins with good nutrition for our children and for us as parents. By ensuring our kids eat a healthy and nutritious diet, we can give them the best possible start in life. And with good nutrition, we as parents will be physically and mentally healthy to take better care for our children.

Did you know that good nutrition is critical even before your baby is born? Scientific research [1,2] has shown that poor nutrition before and during pregnancy can cause the baby not to develop properly, and can increase the chance of disease, such as diabetes and heart disease, later in a child’s life. Often these conditions are caused by a lack of certain vitamins and minerals, which are only required in small amounts to perform essential functions in the body.

An example of an essential mineral is iodine. It is required for the normal function of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck, and controls your body’s growth and energy usage.

What are the best food sources of iodine? Both seafood and seaweed contain a lot of iodine, but fish may also contain high levels of toxic heavy metals like mercury. Another good source of iodine is iodised salt (but you shouldn’t eat more salt just to take in more iodine). Animal meat, fruits and vegetables contain very little iodine, due to heavy rains and flooding over many years that have washed away a lot of the iodine from soil and inland waters, from which animals and plants feed off.

When your body does not have enough iodine, your thyroid gland will increase in size. This looks like “neck swelling”, also known as goitre. Iodine deficiency in adults can also cause you to put on weight, and experience tiredness, mental slowness, intolerance to cold, and an unhealthy heart [3].

Iodine deficiency has a more serious effect on babies and young children, because the thyroid gland controls brain and body development. Extreme iodine deficiency can lead to a child being born with brain damage, smaller in size and weight, poor control of body movement, and hearing problems. Less serious iodine deficiency can still affect a child’s eyesight, body movement, hearing and intelligence [4]. This will definitely affect your children’s learning at school and the ability to look after themselves and become successful later in life. For pregnant mothers, iodine deficiency increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. More importantly, all of your developing baby’s iodine needs is dependent on your iodine intake. Therefore, you must ensure that you take in enough iodine before and during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding after the baby is born.

A pregnant mother needs more iodine to nourish her baby, and iodine from food sources alone is usually not enough. That’s when supplements containing iodine like PM Procare can be very helpful. In fact, The World Health Organization recommends pregnant and breastfeeding women take iodine supplements in consultation with their doctor [5].

PM Procare is a supplement containing enough iodine to help you meet your daily recommended intake before, during, and after pregnancy. PM Procare is supplied in an easy-to-take, soft gel capsule, and also contains other essential nutrients for you and your baby, including high grade fish oil; minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc; vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D3, E, folic acid, and beta-carotene (used by your body to produce vitamin A).

PM Procare is a product of PharmaMetics, Australia. It is manufactured in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines, and is listed with the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) one of the strictest health authorities in the world. PM Procare is manufactured using the finest raw materials. You can be sure of the ingredients, the amount, and their quality. While you cannot be sure of what is contained in other products, you can be sure with PM Procare. The product speaks for itself.

By taking PM Procare, you are not only giving your baby the best possible start in life, you are also helping yourself, as the mother, to remain physically and mentally healthy so you will be able to look after your child.  Remember, healthy babies come from healthy mothers.

References
1.  Barker DJP, Osmond C, Winter PD, Margetts B, Simmonds SJ. Weight in infancy and death from ischaemic heart disease. Lancet 1989; 2: 577–580
2. Barker DJP Fetal origin of cardiovascular disease. Ann Med 1999; 31 Suppl 1: 3–6
3.  Nutrition Australia website
http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/Food_Facts/FAQ/what_is_iodine_faq.asp
4.  Delange F. Optimal iodine nutrition during pregnancy, lactation and the neonatal period. Int J Endocrinol Metab 2004; 2:1-12
5.  de Benoist B, Andersson M, Egli I, Takkouche B, Allen H (editors) Iodine status worldwide: WHO Global Database on Iodine Deficiency 2004