Iodine and pregnancy – a qualitative study focusing on dietary guidance and information

Bouga, M., Lean, M. E.J. and Combet, E. (2018) Iodine and pregnancy – a qualitative study focusing on dietary guidance and information. Nutrients, 10(4), 408. (doi: 10.3390/nu10040408) (PMID:29587423)

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Iodine is essential for thyroid hormones synthesis and normal neurodevelopment; however, ~60% of pregnant women do not meet the WHO (World Health Organization) recommended intake. Using a qualitative design, we explored the perceptions, awareness, and experiences of pregnancy nutrition, focusing on iodine. Women in the perinatal period (n = 48) were interviewed and filled in a food frequency questionnaire for iodine. Almost all participants achieved the recommended 150 μg/day intake for non-pregnant adults (99%), but only 81% met the increased demands of pregnancy (250 μg/day). Most were unaware of the importance, sources of iodine, and recommendations for iodine intake. Attitudes toward dairy products consumption were positive (e.g., helps with heartburn; easy to increase). Increased fish consumption was considered less achievable, with barriers around taste, smell, heartburn, and morning sickness. Community midwives were the main recognised provider of dietary advice. The dietary advice received focused most often on multivitamin supplements rather than food sources. Analysis highlighted a clear theme of commitment to change behaviour, motivated by pregnancy, with a desired focus on user-friendly documentation and continued involvement of the health services. The study highlights the importance of redirecting advice on dietary requirements in pregnancy and offers practical suggestions from women in the perinatal period as the main stakeholder group.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lean, Professor Michael and Bouga, Ms Maira and Combet Aspray, Professor Emilie
Authors: Bouga, M., Lean, M. E.J., and Combet, E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Nutrients
ISSN (Online):2072-6643
Published Online:26 March 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nutrients 10(4):408
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
677071Tackling iodine insufficiency in pregnancy. Designing and testing dietary guidance for improved maternal and neonatal iodine status and thyroid function, with patients/users involvementEmilie Combet AsprayGlasgow Children's Hospital Charity (GCHC)YRSS/PHD/2014/05MVLS MED -HUMAN NUTRITION