© Joanna Zielinska - Fotolia.com

English for PTA


is an English colloquialism for expecting a baby! From the first diagnosis to the birth, the body goes through a myriad of changes and needs much more health care and special nutrition than usual.

Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

The body needs more than it can usually get from healthy eating. It is essential, not just for the expectant mother to eat healthy and get the necessary supplements, it is absolutely vital for the developing foetus. Lack of folic acid in the mother’s diet may cause neural developmental disorders in the baby. Lack of iron in the diet can lead to insufficient oxygen transport to the foetus and subsequently to brain impairment.

Female pharmacy customer: Hello.
PTA: Hello.

I have a prescription for iron supplements here. I’m pregnant you see!
Oh! Lovely!

Thank you. This is my first and I’m a little nervous and excited.
That’s understandable. In which trimester are you? Are you in the first one?

Yes, and I seem to have new symptoms every day! Which is why my gynaecologist gave me this prescription for iron, she did a blood test and my iron levels were a little low.
Don’t worry we’ll soon get you up and running! So, here’s your prescription.

Thank you. I was also thinking about folic acid supplements. I was so excited that I didn’t really listen to the gynaecologist when she was telling me about the various nutrients that I need!
Well, folic acid is extremely important for you and your baby during all three trimesters. But before I tell you about folic acid supplements I need to give you some information on your iron tablets.

Okay, what do I need to know?
Well, although iron is very good for the body, especially at this time, you may experience problems with constipation.

Is that true? I didn’t know that!
This is not unusual in pregnancy. One of the side-effects of iron supplements is that they not only cause constipation, but the bowel movements tend to be very dark in colour. This is very alarming, of course, but nothing to worry about!

That’s good.
You wanted to know about folic acid supplements. Folic acid is in a lot of foods in various concentrations. You’ll find it in lots of dark green leafy vegetables such as cabbage and spinach. It’s also in beans, nuts and lentils, and you’ll find it in a variety of other fruits and vegetables such as avocadoes, cauliflower and carrots.

Sounds tasty!
And these foods also provide a lot of fibre, which is exactly right when you are taking iron supplements, as they help digestion!

That’s clever!
But your baby needs more folic acid than you can get from healthy eating. I give you these tablets. You can take them until the end of the first trimenon, after that you need another dosage. And if you plan a second baby, you can take the tablets from the moment you wish to become pregnant.

There’s so much to know! I’ll certainly listen more carefully at the next appointment! Thank you.
You’re welcome. Goodbye.

Bye, bye!


colloquialism umgangssprachlicher Ausdruck
myriad Vielzahl
supplements Nahrungsergänzungsmittel
vital lebensnotwendig
folic acid Folsäure
developmental disorders Entwicklungsstörungen
brain impairment Beeinträchtigung des Gehirns
prescription ärztliches Rezept
nutrients Nährstoffe
constipation Verstopfung, Obstipation
side-effects Nebenwirkungen
bowel movements Stuhlgang
alarming beunruhigend
cabbage Kohl
spinach Spinat
lentils Linsen
cauliflower Blumenkohl
fibre Ballaststoff
digestion Verdauung

Den Artikel finden Sie auch in Die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 08/13 ab Seite 98.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker