Study shows iodine may be essential during pregnancy

From the moment you find out you're pregnant, you're likely going to start taking numerous precautionary measures to ensure healthy fetal development. When your life is no longer just about you, it's time to start thinking twice about what you're putting into your body! Now, new research suggests that women should be paying extra attention to how much dairy they're consuming during pregnancy.

Experts looked at 1,000 families for a study published in the Lancet Journal, focusing on the IQs and reading scores of young children. They were able to find that kids with mothers who received little iodine during pregnancy - commonly found in dairy products - had lower IQs than their peers. This link now has some researchers suggesting that women should be making dairy a main part of their diet while expecting.

"Our results show the importance of adequate iodine status during early gestation and emphasize the risk that iodine deficiency can pose to the developing infant, even in a country classified as only mildly iodine deficient," the authors of the study wrote.

To avoid complications in the future, some experts believe that women of a child-bearing age should regularly consume dairy products to keep their iodine levels up, according to the BBC. Iodine is a component of thyroid hormones, which makes it essential for brain growth during baby development.

Which foods should I eat?
Once you find out you're expecting, you might need to start paying special attention to your diet. After all, your little one is going to need all of the nutrients that he or she can get to grow up to be strong and healthy! In addition to dairy, you'll want to focus on getting beneficial omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, which can promote brain development, according to the Mayo Clinic. While raw, uncooked seafood should be avoided, you can still consume cooked cod, salmon and tilapia while you're pregnant.

Other foods that you might want to consider adding to your diet include fruits and vegetables, specifically leafy greens that contain an abundance of vitamins and nutrients. If you aren't sure which foods to avoid and consume while expecting, don't hesitate to contact your primary care physician. A medical expert can help you familiarize yourself with items that are best for you and your unborn child.

Did you drink plenty of milk during your last pregnancy? Do you know which foods are best for growing babies? Leave your feedback in the comments section!