Plants have been used for medicinal purposes since prehistoric times. Many prescription drugs used today are derived from plant sources or are the synthetic equivalent of the natural form of the chemicals in plants. Most of the companies which supply and sell health foods, vitamins and medicinal herbs base their commerce on their customer’s belief that “natural” is best. Depending on the product and its use, that may or may not be true.
Vitamins and Minerals
In addition to protein, fats, carbohydrates and fiber, the body needs small amounts of other nutrients, the vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are complex organic chemicals which are essential for normal functioning of our bodies’ cells. Some vitamins are involved in the cell-energy process, others in the production or breakdown of tissue. Some vitamins play a support role for other vitamins. The minerals used in the human body are many of the same inorganic elements which make up our planet (iron, zinc, copper, calcium, etc.). At least 13 minerals are used by the human body.
Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates
The pregnant body requires additional protein for both the mother and baby. The prepregnant RDA for adults (both women and men) is 0.75g/kg, or about 42 grams of “reference protein” per day for a 125-pound woman. The RDA for pregnant women has been calculated to be an ADDITIONAL:
Eating for a Healthy Pregnancy
Standards for nutrition in the U.S. are set by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences (the NAS). The NAS is a private, non-profit society chartered by the U.S. Congress to advise the government on scientific and technical matters. As new scientific information is discovered, the NAS revises its recommendations accordingly, based on advice from panels of experts.
Nutrition and Weight Gain
The nutritional choices one makes may have more impact on health than any other single factor. It is also one of the few factors in pregnancy over which a woman has near-complete control. Good nutrition is the perfect target for your new parental anxiety. You may not have any control over your baby’s chromosomes or gender, but you have complete control over what you swallow. Seize this control.
Lab Tests Which are Not Routine
Some labs are relatively common, but not routinely done on all women. There is more information about each one of these in the following pages.
Lab Tests from the Genital Tract
Cultures for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia
Gonorrhea (GC) and Chlamydia are two organisms which may infect the genital tract. They are sexually transmitted disease…. a woman is infected by a sexual partner. Both gonorrhea and chlamydia can infect the cervix, and remain somewhat dormant throughout pregnancy.