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We have three kitties and a golden retriever/yellow lab mix. The dog is actually a flunkie from a helper dog program and is VERY well-trained--I doubt he'll be too much of a nuisance. All the pets can be locked/crated in the basement if need be, but I'd prefer not to if I knew they wouldn't freak out during a birth. How did your pets react during your homebirth? The only people there will be me, my DH, and my two midwives, so I'm a bit concerned about making sure that the dog is fed and let out if I have a long labor, but I don't really have anywhere else to take him.
 

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Originally Posted by Double Buckeye View Post
We have three kitties and a golden retriever/yellow lab mix. The dog is actually a flunkie from a helper dog program and is VERY well-trained--I doubt he'll be too much of a nuisance. All the pets can be locked/crated in the basement if need be, but I'd prefer not to if I knew they wouldn't freak out during a birth. How did your pets react during your homebirth? The only people there will be me, my DH, and my two midwives, so I'm a bit concerned about making sure that the dog is fed and let out if I have a long labor, but I don't really have anywhere else to take him.
I didn't have a spot for my dog either... a Jack Russell Terrier. It wasn't a nightmare, but I have to say that the dog was PITA for the midwife and I worried about him annoying her, annoying me, and annoying DH the entire time.
: We threw him outside for a couple of hours right after the birth (before he seemed to do better) and luckily it was a beautiful May day. Still... we're preparing for another homebirth here in April and this time I'm thinking of sending him to Gma's with DD1.
 

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Thanks for asking this question. I just had my first prenatal appointment today and received a notebook with my midwife's literature. It mentions not having the animals in the room you'll birth in for two weeks prior and that they should be removed from the house completely during labor and birth. I think it's a bit extreme as I am already exposed to all my pets' germs... I don't see how I can possibly agree to this, so we'll be talking about it next appointment.

Therefore, I'm extremely interested for peoples' stories of their pets' role in their homebirth, if any.
 

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I don't worry about my cat because she steers clear when we have company. My dog on the other hand gets put outside or locked in the bedroom. He is way too hyper and tends to jump on people.

With my first homebirth, we had a different dog and we just tied her to the covered front porch and put food and water out there for her.
 

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Originally Posted by LynGi View Post
Thanks for asking this question. I just had my first prenatal appointment today and received a notebook with my midwife's literature. It mentions not having the animals in the room you'll birth in for two weeks prior and that they should be removed from the house completely during labor and birth. I think it's a bit extreme as I am already exposed to all my pets' germs... I don't see how I can possibly agree to this, so we'll be talking about it next appointment.

Therefore, I'm extremely interested for peoples' stories of their pets' role in their homebirth, if any.
I am preparing for my third homebirth and we have never ever kept the animals out of the room that we would be birthing in. First, I never know where I am going to end up birthing. The first time, I had planned on being in one of the bedrooms but when the time came I ended up giving birth in the living room while sitting in my overstuffed chair. I found a comfy position and wouldn't budge. There is no way that I can/will forbid my animals from being in the living room. I think the most important thing is that you keep the animal hair to a minimum since pet dander can carry all sorts of allergens. I don't think I could work with a midwife that had that sort of stipulation.
 

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this is irksome for me because part of the reason that we think home birth is for us is that we don't have to "change" our home-life significantly. We have free-roaming cats and bunnies, and I wouldn't even be able to imagine "banishing" them from the bedroom or bathroom. We *did* relocate the bunny's litterbox when I went into labor, mostly so he could seek refuge in a room other than the bathroom, if he so desired - and he did. We will likely do that again, but he won't be banished. The cat we have this time is most likely going to stay hidden upstairs because she doesn't like people. We had a dog last time, too - and when she got overly excited by the noise, she was put outside, but not *before*.

Like PP said, I just don't know where I'll want to be during labor, even though I imagine I won't stray far from the bathroom again. But the notion that I should remove pets completely from the house during labor just rubs me the wrong way. I have a big enough house, that I really don't need to worry, but if anyone suggested, much less *required* that, I'd fire them. That wouldn't make me happy. Even the idea of keeping them out of the laboring room for 2 weeks is silly - because how do you know when that's going to be? So I disrupt my entire household for up to 6 weeks?? (DD1 born at 37 weeks, we figured DD2 would be, too, but it was 6 more weeks!)

ok - enough venting from me - you have to do what makes YOU comfortable. Depending on how attached your pets are to *you*, I think they'll either be clingy or run away, and you won't know til it happens.

--janis
 

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We closed the cats in the basement; dogs were crated in the basement. I didn't want the distractions or possible destruction of the birth tub. I love all my furbabies, but the cats are sooooooo friendly and snuggly . . . I would have found it bothersome during labor.
 

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My cats gathered near me to watch me during the early part of my labors. In fact, with DD1 I was sleeping and one of my cats woke me up, they were all lined up beside me on the bed watching me labor in my sleep.
Once transition hit (this was close to the end, my homebirth labors were both just over 2 hours) they weren't anywhere to be found and stayed away until after the baby was born.
 

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My dog is really sensitive to me being upset so I sent him to my best friend's house to play with her dog. BFF's hubby came and got the dog when I was in early labor and we took him back two weeks later. BFF's house is the dog's favorite place to go (we half joke he'd rather live there since he loves their dog) so I'm confident he wasn't hurt or offended.
 

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My midwife for my first pregnancy said that in her 16 years' experience, over and over she saw male cats getting out of there as fast as they could, and female cats hanging around quietly. I birthed in a hospital then so it was just idle talk (I was living in a bad apartment situation - homebirth was not an option).

This time around I plan to birth at home, but despite the above I plan to sequester my 3 male cats in the basement. I just know them too well - they don't give a s**t what's going on if they want to be patted/get fed/etc. They would be annoying pests during a birth! I can just see it - one would want to drink from the birth tub, one would be behind me trying to eat my hair and purr in my face, and the third would be clawing at the plastic sides of the birth tub or hacking up a hairball nearby.
 

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Originally Posted by Limabean1975 View Post
I can just see it - one would want to drink from the birth tub, one would be behind me trying to eat my hair and purr in my face, and the third would be clawing at the plastic sides of the birth tub or hacking up a hairball nearby.

ROFL. I think this is why I'll probably sequester the cat at least. She's a female, but she doesn't hang around anywhere quietly, especially when there are new people around!
 

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Our dog has (both times) gotten VERY excited about me being in labor. She kept running up and down the stairs between me and DH, and then she got a little protective and thought about not letting strange people (the midwife, her assistant, and the doula) in the house. My first birth, my Mom came and picked up the dog, the two cats, and the mother-in-law (the midwife was horribly allergic to cats and requested that they be sequestered or out of the house, so we figured the dog might as well go too). My second birth was in the middle of the night and my Mom was supposed to take DS#1 and the dog to her house, but I figured, why wake up DS#1? So Mom and DS#1 spent the night on the couch and the dog spent some time outside.
 

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We aren't going to do anything. Our dog stays outside 99% of the time, we have a few cats that will continue to have free roam of the house. We can't really lock them away in our house anyway, minus in the basement which I'd personally feel bad doing as it's cold in the winter & hot in the summer & they'd be miserable being locked in any room for very long, which would in turn make me miserable. I'm weird, part of my homebirth is because I don't want to have to worry about leaving my pets alone at home however long while we're at the hospital. When I had my son last year, they were totally freaked out about us being gone, even though DH came to the house a few times to feed & change the litter. So all the animals will just be running around. My midwife likes animals, if she didn't I'm not sure I'd be using her because that just wouldn't mesh with us.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LynGi View Post
I just had my first prenatal appointment today and received a notebook with my midwife's literature. It mentions not having the animals in the room you'll birth in for two weeks prior and that they should be removed from the house completely during labor and birth. I think it's a bit extreme as I am already exposed to all my pets' germs... I don't see how I can possibly agree to this, so we'll be talking about it next appointment.
Is your midwife allergic to animals? Those measures almost seem as though they're for her benefit rather than yours. I would definitely ask her to explain. Unless your animals shed heavily, I don't see what the big deal would be. My dog doesn't even shed.

Our male dog (a 17 pound non-shedding Bichon Schnauzer mix) gets scared easily...even when we cough or sneeze if he's sitting on our lap he'll jump down or look at us in alarm. So I imagine if I'm making a lot of strange noises, he'll probably run straight for his crate (his safety zone) and hide there until he deems it safe to emerge. Either that, or he'll try to be curled up right beside us (he's really calm and a total lap dog).

I figure we'll play it by ear and only put him outside (in May) or in another room if it's necessary.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LynGi View Post
Thanks for asking this question. I just had my first prenatal appointment today and received a notebook with my midwife's literature. It mentions not having the animals in the room you'll birth in for two weeks prior and that they should be removed from the house completely during labor and birth. I think it's a bit extreme as I am already exposed to all my pets' germs... I don't see how I can possibly agree to this, so we'll be talking about it next appointment.

Therefore, I'm extremely interested for peoples' stories of their pets' role in their homebirth, if any.
I think that's a bit much - there's no way I'd be able to accomplish that, or want to, for that matter. As a matter of fact, when I interview a midwife I tell them about my dogs and ask them whether that is something they are comfortable with.

I can understand recommending once one is in labor, that the animals are kept out of the room(s) one may be birthing in, and that those rooms be vacuumed/cleaned to get as much pet hair/dander/etc out as possible. That's just something I'd want to do anyway, not something a midwife has ever requested, though. I can't remember what we did with the dogs last time, but I know once labor started, DH crated them somewhere in the house far from where I was laboring. They bark at everything, and hearing that would have wigged me out while I was in labor.
 

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I have 3 cats and a dog.

I had my dog meet my midwife before the birth. Just a scratch behind the ears after an appt.

I just let my animals be themselves. The two old guys hid and the young female snuggled with my mom. My dog followed me while I paced and was pretty uninterested and hunkered down in her dog bed.

My labour was short. I had planned to hire a doula but that didn't happen. (ran out of $) My original plan was to hire a doula who wouldn't have minded making sure the dog got fed and put out.

Instead we walked the dog in early labour and I was all done birthing by the time she would've needed food.

After three home visits my cat fell so in love with my mw that he tried to leave with her.
 

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I can understand recommending once one is in labor, that the animals are kept out of the room(s) one may be birthing in, and that those rooms be vacuumed/cleaned to get as much pet hair/dander/etc out as possible.
I can't even imagine that (though I'd be happy to vacuum and dust once labor starts to get it as pet-hair free as possible). If I were having a hospital birth, I'd labor at home as long as possible and would not make my dog go into another room or get her out of the house. The more I think about this, the more ridiculous it is.

I can't imagine my midwife actually thinks pets pose a bit bacterial risk and if she put those paragraphs in her literature because she's allergic to them, I'll be sorely disappointed. Why not just come out and say she's allergic to pets?
 

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Originally Posted by apple_juice View Post
After three home visits my cat fell so in love with my mw that he tried to leave with her.
Hee hee. Ahhh, cats - such fickle-hearted creatures!

LynGi - I wonder if maybe your m/w has just been to some really bad situations - really dirty houses where pets have accidents and aren't cleaned up after? Maybe she's just gun-shy because of that? I dunno...
 

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Originally Posted by Limabean1975 View Post
LynGi - I wonder if maybe your m/w has just been to some really bad situations - really dirty houses where pets have accidents and aren't cleaned up after? Maybe she's just gun-shy because of that? I dunno...
Yeah, I have no idea! The whole thing seems to go against her philosophy and everything else she's said so far. I'll definitely be talking to her about it, but I can't imagine it will be a big deal. Pet owners have a personal responsibility to make sure their guests aren't assaulted or put into threatening situations. You'd think if it were something like that, she'd make that call after the 36 week home visit.
 
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