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I'm TTC and planning to continue gardening while pregnant. I want to minimize my risk of exposure to toxoplasomosis (I got a blood test done and I'm not immune). I'm planning to use gardening gloves, but the doctor who gave me the blood test also recommended wearing a face mask because apartenly the sporse that cause toxoplasmosis can be air born. I ran this idea by a midwife and she basically said, "You have to decide for yourself, it's not unreasonable to wear a mask, but also not unreasonable to go without."<br><br>
Here's my issue: I would consider wearing a face mask for gardening at home, but I garden in a public setting (communty educational garden) and if I suddenly started wearing a mask, the regulars there would know something was up and ask questions and I really don't want to announce my pregnancy until I'm 3 months along or so.<br><br>
So I guess I'm wondering what other moms do, how much you worry about this? I don't think there are a lot of cats in the area of the community garden, but it can be quite windy and difficult to avoid breathing in dust. I plan to ask to be assigned to taksk that don't involve working the soil, like harvesting, but that might raise some suspision, too. Ugh.<br><br>
Suggestions?<br><br>
(P.S. moderator, if this is the wrong forum, please feel free to move my post.)
 

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Well, you could wear a bandana over your nose and mouth, bandit-style!<br><br>
Otherwise, I agree with your midwife, that it's going to come down to you doing some research and deciding what works best for you. I've been gardening, and I usually don't wear gloves or a mask (unless I'm actually planting something, I weed bare-handed, but still never a mask).<br><br>
Additionally, if there is Toxoplasmosis in the soil, it's going to be on those veggies, too. So, you might want to think about what you'll be consuming from that area.<br><br>
This is a tough one.
 

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wow, i never heard of this! from what i read on wiki, it is usually caused by cats in the garden? or is there another way this can happen?<br><br>
ive never seen a cat dare to come to my yard because of our dog but i have seen squirrels.
 

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From what I can find, you can get it from insects such as flies and cockroaches, and sheep can carry it. Meaning, those beings are carriers.
 

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I honestly don't worry too much about it. I try not to dig around too much if it is really windy, otherwise I just make sure the soil is a bit damp so that I'm not generating too much airborn dust when I'm working. I don't wear a mask. I'm pregnant now, and still happily digging in the dirt. And I actually have a cat, and know she sometimes confuses the garden mulch for litter, so I know that there is a strong possiblity of that being out there. I just figure as long as I'm careful, my risk is slight.<br><br>
If you are very worried, however, I don't think a mask is unreasonable. You could just say that you have allergies, or sensitive sinuses, and the mask helps block the dust and pollen stirred up when you garden (it is true, after all). Or say that your doctor reccomended it for you (also true) while being vague about the reason why.
 

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I thought it came from the ground. I thought it was just cats that went outside that you needed to worry about, which means it comes from the soil. I just always use gloves. I'm not too worried about it and I'm also not immune. The only time I take my gloves off is when I need to see if something needs watering.
 

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You could always attribute the mask to allergies, say something simple and quick, no need to ellaborate. No reason to say anything about toxoplasomosis, pegnancy or babies until you are ready.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all your suggestions and support. Hearing other peoples thoughts/choices is definitely helpful. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Toxoplasmosis is a parisite that is found in warm blooded animals, but particullarly in cats. Outdoor cats are at greater risk because they eat raw meat such as mice. The feces of cats can contian the parisite, although not all cats are infected. Gardening is a risk because most soil is contaminated with animal feces, including cats. In order to be contagious, the feces needs to be "ripe", meaning it has to have sat for several days to several weeks. The pathogen can remain dorment in feces (in soil) for quite some time, maybe as long as a year. Like all pathogens, freezing and super heating can kill it, but it is not 100%. Infection is spread through ingestion, meaning you need to either eat a contaminated sample or inhale it. Most cases (over 90%) are due to eating raw or undercooked contaminated meat. However, there have been cases shown to be due to exposure to cat feces, which is why some people are worried. It is very hard to catch inhaling, and that is why I really don't worry about it. I do try, however, not to eat the dirt from the garden. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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There was a recent post (in pets or I'm Pregnant) about toxoplasmosis. If I recall correctly, there were only a handful of cases in the past few years that could be linked possibly to gardening...and I'm thinking 0-1 from cats. It's soooo rare. My mw freaked out when I was pg with #4 because I have cats, but I'm immune. Of course, I've had cats all my life (and never washed my hands after petting them), and have always been a digging in the ground with bare hands, eating mud kind of girl. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I never even thought about this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Guess I'll be using those recently purchased (still in packaging) gardening gloves from now on.
 

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I've just gardened with gloves through my three pregnancies. My first two had neighbourhood cats in the garden, so I protected some of my my plants with some chicken wire. Since we've moved, we've only had one cat show up in our yard and he just comes, begs for food and is off somewhere else. I do agree with gardening while the soil is moist though, makes for easier weed removal too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lunarlady</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15382950"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Toxoplasmosis is a parisite that is found in warm blooded animals, but particullarly in cats. Outdoor cats are at greater risk because they eat raw meat such as mice. The feces of cats can contian the parisite, although not all cats are infected. Gardening is a risk because most soil is contaminated with animal feces, including cats. In order to be contagious, the feces needs to be "ripe", meaning it has to have sat for several days to several weeks. The pathogen can remain dorment in feces (in soil) for quite some time, maybe as long as a year. Like all pathogens, freezing and super heating can kill it, but it is not 100%. Infection is spread through ingestion, meaning you need to either eat a contaminated sample or inhale it. Most cases (over 90%) are due to eating raw or undercooked contaminated meat. However, there have been cases shown to be due to exposure to cat feces, which is why some people are worried. It is very hard to catch inhaling, and that is why I really don't worry about it. I do try, however, not to eat the dirt from the garden. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kittywitty</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15383273"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There was a recent post (in pets or I'm Pregnant) about toxoplasmosis. If I recall correctly, there were only a handful of cases in the past few years that could be linked possibly to gardening...and I'm thinking 0-1 from cats. It's soooo rare. snip</div>
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Thanks for this info--it's really helpful to know that it would be hard to catch by just inhaling and how rare it is to catch it from gardening or from cats. Seems like maybe there is more hype about this than the evidence warrants. Anyway, having read this, I think I'll be able to feel comfortable enough just sticking with using my gardening gloves and washing my hands and my veggies well but not worry so much about the inhalation risks.<br><br>
Thanks again everyone!
 

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honestly, i don't know what i would do but i'm in favour of not worrying about it. if you DO decide to wear a mask just say you're allergic to something but haven't identified what it is yet. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> i'm pg now and intend to keep gardening - i had 3 cats before during my pg so most likely i'm already been there, done that.
 

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I guess do whatever makes you feel safe. I had no idea you could get toxoplasmosis from being outside. I've always been a gardening-with-no-gloves-lucky-if-I'm-even-wearing-flip-flops kind of gardener LOL! We had cats when I was pregnant with our first child, and DH took over litter box duty "just in case".
 

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I've gardened through two entire, long pregnancies, and maybe partially through another before I really started getting into gardening. I never wear gloves. They annoy me to no end and never fit right since I have fat little man-hands. But, we don't have any pets, and I have tendency to aim the spray nozzle of the hose at critters (cats) in my yard that I don't want in said yard. And I think the kids have all turned out fine. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Honestly, making sure my tetanus shot was up to date was more a concern for me than toxoplasmosis.
 

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I was pregnant all last summer and did lots of gardening, and never thought twice about it. It just wasn't on my list of worires <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 
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