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Allergies and Pregnancy
newwifey09 posted:
Hi! I haven't posted on this board, but I was hoping to get some opinions.

I'm asthmatic, and allergic to most furry domestic animals, although I love them. My 3 1/2 year old daughter LOVES cats, and has been begging my husband and I for a kitty. As luck would have it, my parents have a cat who had 7 kittens who are now ready for new homes. My daughter, who spends lot's of time with her Grandparents has fallen in love with one of the kittens. It's her very favorite, and it seems the kitten is really fond of her as well. My daughter has begged my husband and I to take the kitty home. She's a wonderful child, and has been a great help during my pregnancy. I feel she deserves her own little pet.

I'm 31 weeks pregnant..and my husband is scared of all the things he reads on the internet about harmful things during pregnancy. He's read that pregnant women shouldn't change the litter box and stuff, and doesn't think it's a good idea right now. Plus...he's aware of my allergies...He likes the kitty too, but he's too worried about all the other stuff he's read and heard about cats and pregnant women.

I'm not even really sure what allergy medications would be safe to take during the last few weeks of my pregnancy and while I'm breastfeeding, so I would have to talk to my doctor about that.
My opinion is that the kitty will still be young enough to adjust to a new baby, and a new house. The kitty is already used to my daughter, and seems to have a little bit of an attachment to her. And, to be honest, I like the kitty too. It's hard to resist a 6 week old kitten....and a 3 year old who holds it in her arms and sings to it while it falls asleep.
RachelRX responded:
I'd have to vote no, unless you're planning on making it an "outside cat." I think your DH could handle the litter box, which is what they want you to avoid.

As far as I've been told (my husband is a Pharmacist and is more blunt me with me than he would be with a patient), no to allergy meds. Granted, I don't have severe allergies, I've just been seasonally uncomfortable, but his message to me was, "Yeah, I get it, but no."

The other thing I don't like about cats (I love them, actually, grew up with cats) and new babies is the whole "sleeping whever it is warm and cozy." And cats lack the discernment of not sleeping on a baby, up to and including their face.

It's the main reason we haven't gotten a cat over the last few years - having little ones. Maybe when my youngest is 3 or 4.

Sorry to not be helpful! Good luck whichever way you decide.
Larissa_1985 responded:
That would be hard to resist! How cute! As far as the litter, I would tell your Husband not to worry, during my first pregnancy, we kept the litter box in a discreet area and only my husband changed it. But as far as your allergies, it sounds like there is no way to avoid them. Is there a way your parents can keep that kitten for your daughter and have her pet kitty stay there? It'll be her pet away from home, would she be satisfied with that?
Me 24 DH 28 DD 19mnths DD2 due 9/2/2010
tamliz08 responded:
I would vote no also. You're going to have enough stuff to deal with!

Cats lay on everything, and they have no boundries. He'll be laying all over the baby stuff, and might actually lay ON the baby.

Seriously, cats are a dime a dozen. I'm sure after the new baby arrives and you all get settled, your daughter will find a cat she like just as much. Then you wouldn't have to worry about allergy meds while you are pregnant. Because seriously, you will have cat hair everywhere and it will make you miserable!!
DD - 11/19/08 - DS - EDD 9/1/10
MommyLuvs02 replied to tamliz08's response:
I agree with PP. As adorable as the cat may be, it is very dangerous for an infant and not a good idea durring pregnancies.

My FIL nearly died (no joke, he was blue) when he was a baby because the family cat got into his room and crib and sat on his chest. Luckily the grandma heard his little coughs and came to the rescue. Bye bye kitty.

Ifyour daughter absolutely can't stand getting rid of kitty, maybe it can stay with her grandparents, otherwise I think waiting would be the best idea. Maybe find a different pet? If its something cute and cuddly she wants, maybe a bunny? Or a puppy? (I would recomend one that is already house broken)

But ultimately, the choice is yours :)

Good luck
Me(19) Daddy(21) Big Bro Hunter Terrance (20m) EDD 6/24/2010 Austin Michael or Austin Matthew. All very very excited. :)
NervousBride responded:
I'm going to play devil's advocate here!!

I have 3 cats and am allergic. My house is laid out in a way that they can be secluded at one end with no access to our bedrooms, yet we can still enjoy their antics and company during the day. This way I never have to worry about cat hair on our bedding etc and I do not have to take allergy meds. My DD is in love with them and they have brought us so much joy and love.

Some people told me to get rid of my cats when I was pg with DD. At that point though they were already my pets and part of my family, so I kept them but kept a very close eye on them. The fact is the first time they heard that baby wail they bolted as far away from her as possible, and after that they were extremely cautious and nervous around her. And once she started crawling, I no longer had to worry about her - it was the cats who were in danger!! Strangely kitties don't like being picked up by their tails LOL!

As far as the litter box, certainly your DH can handle it during pregnancy and beyond for that matter. Mine has!!

Good luck with whatever you choose, I'm sure you'll make the right decision for your family!! :)
irishgal01 responded:
How severe are your allergies? I'm betting they're not so bad, since you're entertaining the thought of getting a cat. If they're not too bad, and your daughter really wants a kitten, I say go for it. We have two cats, they have never tried to sit on our kid, even when he was an infant. Now one is scared of DS (rightfully so, if you ask me) and the other is just so calm that he'll let DS pet him and try to put a blanket on him (night-night kitty is what he says). When I'm PG, the hubby takes care of the kitty litter (which is wonderful!), so no issues there. Actually, one of the benefits of being PG is no kitty litter duty! :-)

Talk to your OB about allergy meds, I know your DH is a pharmacist, but maybe an impartial second opinion would be a good idea.

Good luck!
Taylove11 responded:
I think that this decision is really up to you and your DH. What do you both really want? Just remember that training a new pet is a lot of work. Especially if they haven't been litter box trained before they leave their mother. If the kitten were to have any accidents, your husband would more than likely have to clean up any accidents. Is he willing to do this all the time?

How allergic are you? I myself am so allergic to cats that I can't breathe. My airway swells and I get hives on the roof of my mouth. Does it affect your breathing? Or is it more of just a watery eyes or skin irritation?

One thing to keep in mind is that your little one may inherit your allergic reaction to cats also and it may be more severe than your allergies. It's a lot harder to treat young children with allergies than adults. If you do decide to get the kitten now, how hard would it be to give the cat away if your newborn does develop allergies to it also? How hard would it be on your DD?

That being said, it is proven that having pets is beneificial to your overall health. It can also help teach your children how to care for another being and can teach responsibility. Plus, pets offer unconditional love. Lord knows that I have loved each and every one of my pets to no end.

I'm not trying to encourage or discourage your decision one way or another. (I'm really sorry if it seems that way). I just wanted to present some things you may not have thought about. I hope that you are able to make the best decision for your family.

BTW, the only OTC allergy medicine that my OB approved was Benadryl. But be sure to talk to your doc. I know some Rx allergy meds are safe during pregnancy.
Taryn(22), DH(29) Expecting our first! EDD 8/08. Pink team. HR on 5/27 was 145BPM

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