You have probably discovered that pregnancy has an impact on nearly every facet of your life, including your interaction with your pet. Having a pet while pregnant does not have to be a dangerous situation, but special care is important. Learn how you and your baby can stay safe.
1. Follow Vaccination Guidelines
Leave room in your schedule to stay on track with your vaccinations if you have a young animal. Vaccinations safeguard the animal, you, and your unborn child. Certain parasites are transmissible to humans. Not only could you become ill, but the harmful bacteria can target your child while still in the womb.
Any concerns about contact with an unvaccinated animal should be presented to your obstetrician as soon as possible. There are a series of exams and tests that can be administered to ensure there was no transmission of any harmful bacteria.
2. Ask for Extra Help
Get help around the house, especially if you are a cat owner. Cat litter boxes contain toxic chemicals that can be a risk to humans. One of these risks is an infection known as toxoplasma. This infection can target expectant mothers and unborn children, and its risks include fetal organ defects, stillbirth, and miscarriage.
It would be best if you could have someone else change the litter box during this period so that you do not run the risk of exposure. Your doctor can provide you with more details about what practices you should avoid while pregnant.
3. Monitor Playtime
Be watchful during playtime if you have an overly active or aggressive animal. For example, an active or large dog could innocently knock you down during play. A fall during pregnancy is concerning at any stage of pregnancy, but during the third trimester, it is very concerning. During the final trimester, the wall of the uterus is at its thinnest. As a result, it is more vulnerable to trauma. For this reason, a fall during this period could cause damage to the uterine wall and even cause a placental abruption, which is a dangerous situation that causes the placenta to separate from the uterus. Minimize playtime with your pet and let your obstetrician know right away if you fall.
If you have additional concerns about staying safe around your pet while you are pregnant, you should speak directly with an OB. Your provider will be able to give you all the information you need to get peace of mind that you are protected.