Pregnant women should take an iodine supplement to protect the brain development of their babies, according to the leading U.S. group of pediatricians.

Iodine, which the body can get from iodide, is needed to make the thyroid hormones that are required for children’s brain development before and after birth.

“Women who are childbearing age need to pay attention to this topic as well, because about half of the pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned,” Dr. Jerome Paulson said.

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