Can you help us find out the ideal amount of iodine needed in pregnancy for baby’s brain development?

Dear Obstetric Shared Care GPs,

Why are we interested in iodine in pregnancy?

We know that getting the right amount of iodine in pregnancy is important for baby’s brain and nervous system development.

Since 2009, iodine has been added to some of our food and pregnant women are also advised to take a supplement containing iodine. Recent studies suggest that some women get enough iodine from the food they eat and may not need the amount of iodine that is contained in common prenatal supplements.

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) is working with colleagues around Australia to find out the optimal level of iodine supplementation for pregnant women who already have an adequate iodine intake from the food that they eat and GP Partners Australia and the GP Obstetric Shared Care Program have been asked to help.

What does the PoppiE Study involve?

SAHMRI will supply 754 pregnant women from around Australia with prenatal supplements to take during pregnancy.

Half of the supplements will contain the common amount of iodine found in prenatal supplements in Australia and the other half will contain a reduced amount of iodine. They will only include women who already have an adequate intake of iodine from their diet which we will assess by an ‘iodine food frequency questionnaire’.

Once the babies in the PoppiE trial reach 2 years of age, they will receive an in-depth developmental assessment at one of SAHMRI’s participating research centres. They will compare the results of these assessments between the ‘standard iodine supplement’ and ‘low iodine supplement’ groups.

Why should your pregnant women take part?

  • They will receive prenatal supplements for the whole of their pregnancy at no charge.
  • You and your patient will know their iodine status from food by completing the Iodine Food Frequency Questionnaire (iFFQ).
  • Your patient will be reimbursed for attendance at the 24-month developmental assessment with their child and they will receive a report of their assessment.
  • You will help contribute valuable information that may benefit other pregnant women and their babies in the future.

The PoppiE Study is being led by Dr Karen Best and managed from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

You will be reimbursed for your assistance with recruitment for this study and will be provided with resources, information and brochures for your patients.

Please complete this Expression of Interest Form if you are interested in inviting your patients to take part in this research 

More Information

  • Download the PoppiE Study Brochure – CLICK HERE
  • Phone: 0418 803 844
  • Email:

How to implement into practice?

New Omega-3 test for all pregnant women in South Australia – personalised advice based on omega-3 status

  • Collaboration with SA Pathology
  • SA Maternal Serum Antenatal Screening Program covers 80-85% of women in SA with testing before 16 weeks
  • No additional blood test and no cost to women or health service


Booking the GP OSC SA Woman at the ‘Booking’ Hospital

GPs please ensure that your GP Obstetric Shared Care women are referred to a ‘booking’ hospital as soon as possible in their pregnancy, to ensure that the 1st antenatal visit is scheduled before 20 weeks gestation and preferably in the 1st trimester.

Some women are calling as late as 18-20 weeks, and some hospitals have up to 5 weeks wait for an appointment. These women are then declined the option of GP Obstetric Shared Care.

The Pregnancy SA Referral telephone number is: 1300 368 820. The service is available 9am- 4pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

Don’t forget to visit our GP Partners Australia website for further updates and resources

We trust this – and future updates – will be of help to you during these crazy times.

Stay safe.

If you have any questions or require additional information please do not hesitate to contact the GP Obstetric Shared Care Program Manager – Leanne at