Just this week Google told me that some visitors to this site were looking up information on what they should do if they’re expecting and have a pet.
This is a question that seems to come up time and time again: ‘Is it safe to keep my pet if I’m expecting?’
I think it may be time to reframe this question and look at it from perhaps, a new angle.
A better question might be:
Is it beneficial to keep pets around during pregnancy?
When it comes to… your mental health:
The answer is… yes! And how wonderful it is that we don’t have to make a difficult decision of whether to rehome your furry friends or not. It turns out that pets can actually strengthen your emotional wellbeing, reducing your chances of postpartum depression and decreasing anxiety.
When it comes to… cats and toxoplasmosis:
Are you a cat parent? With all the myths and advice surrounding cat care and pregnancy, it’s no wonder there is so much confusion surrounding cats and pregnancy. Like with many myths, there is usually a grain of truth somewhere. Our OB/GYN friends over at Maternity Comfort Solutions are often asked if it is safe – is it actually a health risk for pregnant women to be around cats? If you are concerned about toxoplasmosis, be sure to find out what Doug and Sue from Maternity Comfort Solutions have to say.
When it comes to… getting your pet ready for the baby:
Even if your furry friend may be accustomed to you and your habits, this doesn’t mean he or she is ready for the baby, and as we know, babies bring BIG change. This is true not only for you, but for your pets as well. While you, your partner, your support network and your medical team prepare for your baby’s arrival, it’s a good idea to help your dogs or cats prepare for the changes as well. Erin Walters from The Bump offers some easy tips and practical advice (from exposing your pet to other babies to obedience training), as do the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
When it comes to… allergies and funky parasites from unusual pets:
Are you worried about developing allergies while pregnant from pet dander? Or perhaps you have a hamster, a rat, a snake, a tortoise or some other exotic animal? Here are a couple things to be aware of: lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV) and/or salmonella. In these cases, it is best to speak with your doctor. In the meantime, Elena Donovan Mauer offers this article as a good starting point to being informed.
Do you have any advice to share on navigating pet ownership and parenting? What advice or decisions have made a positive impact for you in your experience?
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