Iodine in the diet helps prevent a swelling
on the throat called goiter and other problems.
If a woman does not get enough iodine during
pregnancy, her child may be mentally slow.
Goiter and mental slowness are most common
in areas where there is little natural iodine in
the soil, water, or food.
Main Foods and Helper Foods 169
The easiest way to get enough iodine is to use
iodized salt instead of regular salt. Or you can eat
some of these foods (either fresh or dried):
• shellfish (like shrimp) • eggs
If iodized salt or these foods are hard to get, or if there is
goiter or mental slowness in your area, check with the local
ministry of health to see if they can give iodized oil by mouth
or by injection. If not, you can make an iodine solution at home
with polyvidone iodine (an antiseptic that is often available at a
local pharmacy). To make an iodine solution to drink:
➤ The easiest
way to get enough
iodine is to use
iodized salt instead
of regular salt.
1. Pour 4 glasses
of clean drinking
water into a jug
Store iodine at room temperature and in
dark containers to protect it from light.
2. Add one drop of
Everyone over 7 years old should drink
one glass of this iodine solution every
week of her or his life. This is especially
important for pregnant women and
Vitamin A prevents night blindness and helps fight off some
infections. Many pregnant women have problems with night
blindness, which probably means that their diet lacked vitamin A
before they got pregnant. The problem shows up
when pregnancy places extra demands on the body.
Lack of vitamin A also causes blindness in children.
By eating foods rich in vitamin A during pregnancy,
a woman can increase the amount of vitamin A her
baby will get in breast milk.
Dark yellow and green
leafy vegetables, and
some orange fruits, are
rich in vitamin A.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012