When you get pregnant and you keep pets indoors, you may be worried about the influence of the animals on your baby in the tummy. Some women may wonder if they have to part with their beloved pets, but hesitate as these creatures are a member of the family whose presence brings joy.
So this article will introduce what you can do to spend your pregnancy safely with your pet and what you need to be careful with.
What you need to look out for during pregnancy: “Toxoplasmosis” What is it?
There are several infectious diseases from pets, and the one that you need to pay particular attention to during pregnancy is “toxoplasmosis,” which is caused by protozoan parasites from cats and birds.
If mothers are infected during pregnancy, babies may develop encephalopathy, hydrocephalus, or development delay. Also, there is a possibility of miscarriage if it becomes severe at the beginning of pregnancy.
However, if you have been infected once more than six months back from the day of pregnancy, it is rare for it to become serious as antibodies are already being made.
Nonetheless, since noticeable symptoms do not appear at the time of infection, most people do not know that they have been infected. Once you find out that you are pregnant, it is best to get tested.
Infection Prevention Method for Toxoplasmosis
When an animal is infected with Toxoplasma, it is excreted with pets’ feces for about 1 to 3 weeks. The probability of infection is weak immediately after excretion, but it becomes easy for people to be infected after about 2 to 3 days, so it is best to clean up pet’s feces frequently.
Still, it is safe to ask other family members to do the chore. If your mother has to do the work, she must wear gloves and a mask and wash her hands thoroughly with soap when finished.
Also, if stray cats and wild birds are infected, they may pass on the infection through the soil. Infection may also come from raw meat such as pigs and cattle, so wear gloves and a mask when dealing with soil, and wash your hands thoroughly afterward. Beef and pork must be heated well. The kitchen knife and chopping boards must be kept very clean to prevent infection. It is best to avoid raw ham, non-sterilized milk, soft cheese, and etc.
Other infection prevention to keep in mind every day
In addition to toxoplasmosis, it may possible to have an allergic reaction by inhaling a pet’s loose hair or mite’s carcass or getting dermatitis from insect fleas.
Even if you are not experiencing any allergic signs, if resistance is weakening, symptoms may worsen during pregnancy. Keep in mind the following things to get along with your pet during pregnancy.
- Keep the pet’s body always clean brushing or bathing regularly
- Make sure that vaccinations for pets are received properly
- Maintain a clean environment by cleaning rooms and pet houses frequently and using air purifiers. Also do not forget to wash curtains and sheets
- Do not let your pet lick your mouth/face, and give food using your own utensils
- When using the toilet, be sure to wear gloves and a mask and carefully wash your hands with soap when finished
- Wash your hands and gargle upon returning from a walk
- While walking, keep pets as close to the clean ground/grass as possible
Keeping pets and the environment clean will also help prevent babies from infection, so make sure to continue these practices after your baby is born.
In case of emergency, keep a secured deposit
If you pay attention to infection prevention, life with a pet is not impossible. However, it may be possible that you may not be able to take care of pets because of sickness or hospitalization that might be necessary earlier than planned. Also, as your stomach grows bigger, you may not be able to walk or play with your pet.
Let’s prepare in advance for the times when you cannot take care of your pet so as not to make your pet sad and to maintain its health.
- Check with an animal hospital or pet shop that you can pay for a temporary pet care service. Prepare any necessary packages and documents.
- If there are friends and family who can help take care of your pet, allow your pet to take time to adjust and get used to their new ‘friends.
There are lots of fun and happy things to do with pets that help us recover from stress and fatigue. Mothers are healed by their presence, and when babies are born they become a part of the baby’s emotional education. Let’s not let go of your pets just because you are pregnant. Pay attention to diseases and injuries, and prepare a safe environment where you can spend time happily with your beloved creatures.