Adequate iodine intake is essential for the thyroid gland to produce the right amount of thyroid hormone. For this reason, iodine deficiency during pregnancy and iodine deficiency in infancy can contribute to intellectual deficits in children. For these reasons, pregnant women should pay attention to the iodine content in the prenatal formula that they are taking to avoid thyroid hormone deficiency while the brain of their unborn baby is developing.
After birth, babies require a sufficient and adequate iodine intake, which is often provided through breast milk or infant formulas. Generally speaking, if the breast feeding mother continues to take a prenatal formula containing adequate amounts of iodine, or if the new born is fed by a commercial infant formula, the iodine supply to the infant is adequate and one should not be very concerned about the possibility of iodine deficiency in the infant.
However, when babies transition from breast milk or baby formulas to commercially prepared table foods or homemade table foods, the intake of iodine may become sub optimal and insufficient. One of the reasons is that salt is typically not added to homemade foods given to infants.
Clearly parents need to be aware of how crucial adequate iodine intake is during pregnancy and while feeding their infant.