Nowadays, many people have pets in their homes. Many people find innocent and cute animals to accompany them when they are single or without children. They have more fun in life, but when they are pregnant, they get entangled. Family members, relatives and friends are worried that pets will bring all kinds of possible harm to the unborn baby, from infectious diseases to bites and so on.
As a parent, it is understandable to protect the baby as much as possible. Can I continue to keep pets after I am pregnant? What issues should be paid attention to if you continue to raise? How to coordinate the relationship between pets and babies? Let’s take a look at what modern science says.
Animal infectious diseases and prevention
Pets may carry a lot of bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc. Some of them not only spread from animal to animal, but also from animal to human.
For example, rabies (Rabies) that makes most people hear of it, if a person or animal is bitten by an infected animal, the rabies virus will enter from the wound through saliva and infect the injured person or animal. Once the morbidity rate is almost 100%. However, responsible pet owners know to vaccinate their pets on a regular basis to fundamentally prevent their pets from being infected.
So even if you are bitten by a pet cat or dog to see a doctor in the United States, the first thing the doctor needs to know is whether your pet is vaccinated regularly, rather than asking you to get a rabies vaccine first.
Toxoplasmosis is another parasitic infectious disease that makes many pregnant women avoid cats. Because if a pregnant woman is newly infected with toxoplasma during pregnancy, it will be transmitted to the fetus through the placenta, which may cause miscarriage, premature delivery, and teratogenesis. Such problems, infected babies may also have vision or neurological diseases after birth.
Although toxoplasmosis is terrible, it is not impossible to prevent and treat. On the one hand, if the pregnant woman has been infected before pregnancy, the baby will be protected by antibodies; on the other hand, if the cat is kept indoors and fed with cat food without raw meat, the chance of infection is also very low.
And if we learn more about the transmission route of Toxoplasma gondii, we will know that if cats eat or drink infected meat or water, they will become the host of Toxoplasma gondii, and then Toxoplasma gondii will pollute the surrounding environment through the feces of the infected cat. Animals or people who eat contaminated water or plants may be infected with Toxoplasma gondii, and people who eat meat from infected animals may also become infected. You know, the vast majority of toxoplasmosis patients in the United States are infected by eating uncooked meat, not because they have cats.
Therefore, the recommendations of American obstetricians and gynecologists for the prevention of toxoplasma infection are:
Don’t eat raw food when you are pregnant, and be sure to eat fully cooked food thoroughly;
Try to let your family members be the “poop shovel officer”. If pregnant women have to clean up cat poop by themselves, wear rubber gloves and wash their hands with warm water and soap afterwards;
Pregnant women should wear rubber gloves to avoid contact with the soil if they want to do gardening activities in the garden;
In addition, if necessary, expectant mothers can also consult their doctor about the toxoplasma antibody test, and they can check whether there is an infection and whether they have been newly infected through a blood test.
Pets like cats and dogs that play outdoors may also get fleas & ticks, etc. These parasites can also bite humans and spread diseases, such as Lyme disease that can be transmitted by ticks. The health of the fetus will also be affected, but there are also many very effective deworming drugs on the market that can be used regularly for prevention, as long as you pay attention to deworming and cleaning your pets.
Other animal-borne diseases
In addition, rodents, hamsters, guinea pigs and other chewing pets may carry the LCMV virus (the virus is rarely carried by pet mice, usually wild rodents). If people eat food contaminated by infected mice or inhale the virus in the dust may be infected, and this virus may also affect the health of the fetus. CDC does not recommend that pregnant women come into contact with such animals and pets. It is best to let others take care of pets and clean the cage, and the cage should be as far away from the bedroom and living area as possible.
Snakes, lizards, tortoises, frogs and other crawling amphibian pets are likely to carry salmonella in their urine and feces. Pregnant women infected with this bacteria may also affect the health of the fetus, and salmonella infections in children with weak resistance may also cause it. There are serious health problems, so the government generally does not recommend pregnant women and children under 5 to keep such pets. Pregnant women should avoid contact and cleaning as much as possible, and those responsible for contact and cleaning should also wash their hands thoroughly with hot water and soap afterwards, and keep pets and breeding containers away from the kitchen and dining room.
There is usually no problem with keeping healthy birds and pets, but birds can also spread diseases like Cryptococcosis and Psittacosis. Therefore, it is best to have other people help with the cleaning of bird cages and bring pets. Checking the bird by the veterinarian can also learn about the health of the bird.
As can be seen from the examples mentioned above, most of the disease transmission is caused by not developing good hygiene habits, wiping the eyes, nose, mouth, touching food, after contacting germs without washing your hands etc. Under normal circumstances, obstetricians and gynecologists and veterinarians in the United States do not think there is a conflict between pregnancy and pets, but more attention is needed.
Precautions for keeping pets during pregnancy
The arrival of a newborn will not only change the lives of prospective parents, but also for many pets. How to make pets adapt to this change, reduce their negative emotions, and allow pets to live in harmony with their newborns, will be things that parents-to-be need to prepare well during pregnancy. The following are some suggestions to make pets and babies get along more safely and make life transitions smoother. Parents-to-be make good use of the nine months of pregnancy to prepare.
1. Take your pet to the vet
Check the health of the pet to see if the pet is infected with some bacteria and viruses that have a greater impact on pregnant women and infants; do deworming and other work; ensure that the vaccination does not expire. The healthier the pet, the less chance of spreading germs.
2. Sterilize pets
Sterilizing pets can not only reduce the risk of morbidity related to the reproductive system, but also have a calmer personality and less biting after the pet is neutered.
3. Consult a veterinarian and pediatrician
If you are worried about how your pet will interact with your baby in the future, consulting these experts before the baby is born can help you understand the problem and solve it as soon as possible.
4. Let pets get used to cutting their nails
Properly cutting your pet’s nails can reduce the risk of being scratched.
5. Ask a pet behavior expert about pet training and behavior issues
If your pet is showing fear or anxiety, you need to consult a pet behavior expert. If your pet has the bad habit of scratching, biting, swooping at you and others, you need to teach it to transfer these behaviors to suitable objects.
6. Train your pet to lie on the ground calmly next to you
You have to wait until there are instructions to allow you to jump on your lap, because this place will soon become a baby’s exclusive place.
7. Consider taking training courses
Take your dog to participate in professional training courses. These courses can help you control your dog’s behavior safely and humanely, and can also enhance the emotional connection between you and your dog.
8. Encourage friends to take the baby to be a guest at home
Let the pet adapt to the environment with the baby first, pay attention to the interaction between the pet and the baby, and correct the problem as soon as possible.
9. Let pets get used to baby-related noise as early as possible
For example, playing recordings of babies crying, or shaking the cradle or rocking chair. Pay attention to fostering positive and positive associations between pets and babies. You can reward them with snacks or game time.
10. Stop pets jumping
To teach them not to jump on the crib or diaper changing table, double-sided tape can be attached to the furniture to reduce the pet’s jumping behavior.
11. If you don’t want pets to enter the nursery, it’s best to build a fence
For example, install Safety Gates, Play Pens, and even glass doors. Most of these can be bought in pet stores or baby products. Because these fences can prevent pets from entering the room but allow pets to see the situation in the room without making them feel isolated.
12. Use puppet dolls to help pets adapt to the environment
For example, holding the wrapped puppet doll indoors, pretending to talk to the doll, putting the doll in the stroller while walking the dog, etc., let the pet get used to what will happen every day after having a baby, such as helping the baby change Diapers, baths, etc. If you have already named your baby, you can call your baby’s name more in front of your pet.
13. Put some talcum powder or baby oil on your body
If you will use it later, you can let your pet get used to these new flavors.
14. Gradually let pets adapt to the transition
For example, if the mother-to-be has always taken the dog for a walk, the father-to-be should also learn how to take the dog for a walk as soon as possible. After all, in the late pregnancy and after the baby is born, the mother may not have so much energy to take care of the dog and needs the father to share it. Up.
15. Plan in advance how your pet will be taken care of when you give birth in the hospital
If you don’t have time to go home by that time, make an appointment with a pet sitter or book a pet hotel in advance.
Precautions for keeping pets after your baby is born
The birth of a baby will surely make the whole family very excited, but if you leave your dog and cat to take care of others, don’t forget to take the dog or cat home. Before taking your baby home, take some items that your baby has used in the hospital, such as blankets or clothes, so that your pet can familiarize yourself with the baby’s taste in advance.
When you get home, your pet may be excited and want to welcome you and get your attention. At this time, you can give your pet a warm but calm greeting. You can prepare some snacks in advance to distract the pet, and then ask others to carry the baby back to the room at this time.
After that, you can let the pet sit next to the baby under control, and if the pet behaves correctly, you can reward some snacks. Remember to allow pets to have positive experiences when they see the baby. Never force pets to approach the baby to avoid accidents that may cause injuries to pets. In addition, every time the pet approaches or interacts with the baby, the adult must be there at all times. Side monitoring.
The life of taking care of your baby will definitely be very busy. Try to keep your pets as normal as possible to make them more comfortable. Set aside some separate time for pets every day, which can also help you relieve the pressure of taking care of your baby. Correct training, monitoring and adjustment can allow parents, new babies and pets to form a safe and happy family.
Teach children the right way to interact with pets
Mom and Dad must remember that no matter how docile pets are, pets have tempers, and there are many news about children being scratched and bitten by pets every year. Instead of waiting for the baby to pull the cat’s tail and cause the cat to scratch the baby and blame the cat, it is better to teach the baby how to play happily with the cat early.
Therefore, in addition to watching the baby and pets during the interaction, parents should also pay attention to educating children how to interact with pets, so as to minimize the risk of accidents when children interact with pets.
From an early age, tell your baby that you should touch your pet’s hair gently, and don’t pat or pull the hair too hard;
Bring your baby’s hand to teach them to open their palms when petting pets, and not to squeeze the meat;
Teach them where to touch and not to touch;
Teach them not to tease pets with their own hands, but to use appropriate toys;
Teach them to recognize the pet’s body language and know when not to disturb the pet;
For some pets who don’t like noise, if children want to play crazy and shout loudly, it is better to play in a room where pets cannot enter;
In addition, young children with weak resistance should not let them kiss their pets, and cultivate the habit of washing their hands carefully after playing with pets.
On the other hand, pay attention to training pets and cultivate their positive associations with children, so that when children make inappropriate actions, they can also reduce their disgust.