Some pregnant or breastfeeding women may need iodine supplements, according to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The group of pediatricians said Americans get most of their salt intake from processed foods, which is not iodized salt.
They say this has led to an increase in iodine deficiency.
Doctors say iodine is critical to babies' developing brains. Women should talk to their doctors before taking supplements.
Doctors don't want to scare moms unduly. Iodine levels aren't so low that babies will have severe brain damage, said Dr. Jerome Paulson, a pediatrician at Children's National Health System and chairman of the AAP's council on environmental health
"The brain development issues are very subtle and are not likely to be noticed in an individual child," explained Paulson, a pediatrician at Children's National Health System and chairman of the AAP's council on environmental health. "It's an issue for society as a whole when you have a large number of children who are not reaching their full potential."
Courtesy: NBC News Channel