Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Iodine and Pregnancy—A Qualitative Study Focusing on Dietary Guidance and Information

Version 1 : Received: 1 February 2018 / Approved: 2 February 2018 / Online: 2 February 2018 (07:29:44 CET)

How to cite: Bouga, M.; Lean, M.E.; Combet, E. Iodine and Pregnancy—A Qualitative Study Focusing on Dietary Guidance and Information. Preprints 2018, 2018020015 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201802.0015.v1). Bouga, M.; Lean, M.E.; Combet, E. Iodine and Pregnancy—A Qualitative Study Focusing on Dietary Guidance and Information. Preprints 2018, 2018020015 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201802.0015.v1).

Abstract

Iodine is essential for thyroid hormones synthesis and normal neurodevelopment; however, 60% of pregnant women do not meet the WHO recommended intake. Using a qualitative design, we explored 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 and recommendations of iodine intake. Attitudes to 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 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.

Subject Areas

iodine; pregnancy; qualitative research; awareness; perceptions; nutrition

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