New study shows more pregnant women lacking iodine in their diet

While most women already know that they need to get a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients during their pregnancy, not all are familiar with the specific ones that their bodies need. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that iodine levels have been decreasing in people across the U.S., which poses a realistic threat to moms-to-be

"Iodine levels in the U.S. have been decreasing, which has the potential to negatively impact the mother and unborn child," said Alex Stagnaro-Green, M{.}D{.}, the lead author of the study. "It's time for all healthcare professionals to make sure that every pregnant and breast-feeding woman gets supplemental iodine during pregnancy and while they are breast-feeding."

Iodine is not naturally created in the body. For this reason, individuals need to consume certain foods and supplements in order to maintain adequate levels of the nutrient in their systems. For pregnant women, iodine is crucial to baby development. Experts who worked on the study note that this nutrient aids in fetal neurological development.

Many prenatal vitamins alone cannot provide women with the iodine they need during pregnancy, which means that they need to seek the nutrient through certain foods. Iodine-rich foods include many dairy items such as yogurt, cheese and milk. However, pregnant women may also want to try baked potatoes, strawberries and turkey breast to get their daily dose of iodine.

Previous studies have found that only about 20 percent of women expecting take prenatal vitamins that contain acceptable levels of iodine, which continues to cause concern in the medical community.

How have you ensured that you've received the nutrients you've needed during pregnancy in the past? Do you try to incorporate iodine-rich foods into your diet? Leave your feedback in the comments section!