Iodine: An Important Nutrient During Pregnancy & Postpartum

As an individual trying to conceive, pregnant or a new mother, it's important to take care of ourselves to ensure we are providing the nutrients for not only us, but also our growing bubbas. We know that nutrient-dense foods are crucial for every stage, but even more importantly for our postpartum wellbeing.

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Why Is Iodine An Important Part Of A Nutrient Dense Diet during Pregnancy and Postpartum?

Iodine is an essential nutrient required for thyroid hormone synthesis, which regulates metabolism and growth. During pregnancy and lactation, iodine deficiency can lead to adverse effects on fetal and infant brain development, including intellectual disability and delayed cognitive function. Adequate iodine intake through food or supplementation during the postpartum period is necessary to support maternal and infant health.

The Relationship Between Iodine & Postpartum Health

Research has shown that postpartum women are at a much greater risk of thyroid problems due to the baby’s reliance on the mother’s thyroid in utero. This means correct iodine intake is vital for reducing conditions such as hypothyroidism, goitre, and thyroid autoimmunity. Kelp, a type of seaweed, is an excellent source of iodine, a mineral that is essential for proper thyroid function.

Several other nutrients, such as iron, choline, omega-3 fatty acids, saturated fats, and protein, also play a very crucial role in postpartum well-being. A randomised controlled trial showed that iodine supplementation during the postpartum period improved maternal and infant iodine status and reduced the risk of goitre. The World Health Organisation recommends a daily intake of 250 μg iodine for pregnant women to maintain adequate iodine status.

Iodine Deficiency During Pregnancy

Iodine deficiency during pregnancy is a significant global public health concern, and it’s also the foremost avoidable cause of neurodevelopmental disabilities around the world. The consequences of severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy, which include unfavourable obstetric outcomes and reduced intelligence in children, have been well-established. Nevertheless, the implications of mild-to-moderate deficiency are not as clearly understood.

How To Get More Iodine In Your Diet

To ensure adequate iodine intake, it's recommended to consume natural sources of iodine, such as seaweed, or to supplement with iodine in the postpartum period. Clinical trials conducted independently have demonstrated that potassium iodide facilitates the swift release of iodine into the body, resulting in a rapid surge in iodine levels, which is promptly excreted from the system. 

Conversely, iodine found in natural foods such as seaweed is bound to fibres, which enable a gradual breakdown and slow release of iodine. A steady and consistent release of iodine is advantageous as it allows the body to efficiently manage, absorb, and utilise iodine.

The Mothers Blend has a beautiful dose of iodine through kelp

It was known here that iodine is critical for everyone, particularly mothers, so we have ensured that your nutrient-dense diet is supported with an additional boost. Our Mothers and Childrens Blend contains kelp powder, a nutrient-rich ingredient that provides a natural source of iodine. This helps ensure that postpartum mothers receive the necessary amount of iodine in their diet to support optimal health for both themselves and their babies.

To learn more about the other essential nutrients that mothers need, check out our blog or read up on all the nutritional goodness we include in The Mothers Blend.