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Most of the time a sceptical attitude towards the domestic animal can be developed besides the joy experienced during pregnancies. Can domestic animals still be recommended as in other situations? BabyundEltern asked the well known WDR-Producer Dr. Claudia Ludwig

Dr. Ludwig is the producer of the program called "Animals are looking for a home" on the Western German Radio. In her house there are at the moment two dogs and three cats living with her husband and two kids. There is no end to the recognised child/pet strategies: Claudia Ludwig is expecting her third baby on Christmas day. Can she understand the anxiety of many women who are considering giving their pets away?

Dr. Ludwig, is it not recommended to give pets away during pregnancy?
In my opinion, there are two situations where it could be better to give away pets: If one of the family members is allergic to pets and if the pet is really dangerous, that is if a dog really bites. Except these two situations a pet generally is something that enriches a family. Other than this, everybody who gets a pet has responsibility towards this pet as he has responsibility towards the other members of the family. Health risk for a pregnant woman is not greater with a healthy pet than contact with other people. That is if there are not awful situations present, the pet can stay during and after the pregnancy.


Wouldn’t it create a danger if the pet claims it’s "rights that are gained long ago" and is jealous about the baby?
Well, normally such a thing can happen in families, too. Older brothers or sisters are most of the time jealous about the new-born baby. In this case nobody thinks of throwing the olderones out of home. A big mistake people are making is that they neglect their pets while waiting for a baby or after the baby has arrived. However, if they take into consideration several behaviour rules and if they show enough interest in their pets as they used to, the pet will accept the baby willingly.

Besides, having the dog sniff the baby’s dipers the dog can be made to greet the baby. Never scare away a pet or try to keep it away from the baby constantly. The pet most probably will react to the new member with goodwill if it feels that it belongs to the group. This can lighten the parents’ burden: When I was fixing a diper to my douther there always was her favorite cat beside her. This was very practicle because this way she used to be calmer, because there was something beside her to look at and cuddle afterwards.


How far should one go in this vicinity to animals?
Is a contact to the face of the child allowable?

Independent of house animals, I am personally also not sensitive if my children become in the playing dirty. But the people are yes with regard to its presentations of hygiene very differently tolerant and just as also the opinions go hereon apart. I always relatively generously handled that, and the child simply shortly washed if it got once over the face geleckt. Importantly I do not find it if it came once to an especially narrow contact on the far side of the tolerance boundary: hysterical become and frighten quickly clean through it perhaps dog or cat and child, but rather simply the child. It is to be prevented hardly that the animal divide itself the child once in the face herumschnuppert or that both an ice, if one a minute way show. I must say to be sure in addition that both daughters any eruption or an illness got never have, that were to be led back to the animal contact. The bacteria of the animals are yes for the childlike immune system "old acquaintance" that belong to the household. A problem stands actually sooner in strange environments where the baby is confronted with unknown Bazillen. So as would type I also mothers always recommend to allay as long as possible because the children then generally more insensibly are.


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