Iodine is an essential nutrient that humans need in very small quantities. The thyroid uses iodine to produce hormones vital to ensure normal development of the brain and nervous system before birth, in babies and young children. For this reason, it is very important that pregnant and breastfeeding women get enough iodine.
The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that all women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or considering pregnancy, take an iodine supplement of 150 micrograms (μg) each day. Women with pre-existing thyroid conditions should seek advice from their medical practitioner prior to taking a supplement.
The Public Statement provides information on the increased need for iodine during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and breastfeeding, the risks of not having enough iodine and the type of supplements that should and should not be used.
The Literature Review reports on the recent international scientific literature for the efficacy of iodine supplementation in increasing iodine levels in pregnant and breastfeeding women to levels that mitigate the risks associated with iodine deficiency. The Literature Review provided the evidence for the optimal level of iodine supplementation during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and breastfeeding.