Importance of Vitamin D and Iodine

In conversation with Dr. Harini Shetty
(MBBS, DGO, Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine)


Why is vitamin D and Iodine important during pregnancy?

While vitamin D is a key nutrient for maintaining strong bones for mum and baby. Iodine contributes to normal cognitive function, and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy it contributes to babies’ brain development.

How much iodine do I need during pregnancy?

While a portion of the recommended amount of iodine can be reached through a healthy balanced diet, it is recommended that expectant mothers consume 220mcg of iodine daily, and women who are breastfeeding consume 270mcg to support the normal health and development of their baby. Iodine requirements increase during pregnancy because the thyroid is particularly active and produces about 50% more thyroid hormones than usual. When breastfeeding, infants use their mother’s iodine to build their own reserves of thyroid hormones.

From where do I get my daily iodine intake?

In addition to a specialized iodine pregnancy supplement, expectant and breastfeeding mothers can obtain extra iodine by consuming: Moderate amounts of seafood such as fish, particularly low‐mercury types including salmon, canned tuna, sardines and anchovies.

How much vitamin D do I need during pregnancy?

A recent study found women taking 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily had the greatest benefits in preventing preterm labor/births and infections. The study confirmed vitamin D at this level is not only safe for you, but for your baby, and the researchers from this study now recommend this daily dosage of vitamin D for all pregnant women. The average prenatal vitamin only contains 400 IU of vitamin D, so additional supplementation should be taken daily.

From where do I get my daily Vitamin D intake?

We get most of our vitamin D intake from the sunshine on our skin. Vitamin D can be found in some foods, such as: Oily fish, Eggs, cheese, orange juice, soy milk but supplementation should be taken to make up for the daily requirement.