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Eating for Breastfeeding: Iodine!

Hope you like seaweed salad, lady! Did you know that iodine is really important for breastfeeding mamas?

The recommended dietary allowance of iodine is higher for women when they are pregnant or breastfeeding in order to support proper fetal or infant growth and neurological development. In fact, women need more iodine when breastfeeding than at any other point in their life (290 mcg)!


How do you roll? Nori, or seaweed sheets, are a good source of iodine.

Iodine deficiency can lead to a range of disorders that affect brain and nervous system development. Because breast-fed infants rely on milk as their sole source of nutrition, breastfeeding mothers need enough iodine to meet their babies’ iodine needs as well as their own. Breast milk contains iodine, concentrations can vary based on maternal iodine levels. Low iodine status can affect the mother’s thyroid function and can lead to hypothyroidism or goiter.


Here are some sources to add to your diet:

  • 1 sheet nori seaweed: 16-43 mcg

  • 3 oz cod: 63-99 mcg

  • 8 oz milk: 88 mcg

  • about 1/2-3/4 tsp iodized salt: 150 mcg - but watch the sodium!

In recent years, trends have shifted in the salt aisle, and more consumers have opted for sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, and more. But these are not iodized, and therefore, not a good source of this nutrient. We recommend picking up a canister of good old fashioned iodized salt to use in cooking or at the table.


We know you've got a lot going on, so we wanted to create a resource that would help you nourish your body while breastfeeding that precious babe. Click here to request our free download all about nutrition while nursing!


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Questions about prenatal nutrition? Want to eat right for that Liquid Gold? On the struggle bus with a picky eater? Let us help you! We are available for consultations.