Whether you are a proud pet parent or you have friends and family with fluffy buddies, you might wonder how safe it is to be around animals when you're expecting. Aside from an allergies to pet dander, there are other factors to consider. For instance, can an animal sit on your pregnant belly? You probably wouldn't let a dog who weighs more than 50 pounds chill on your abdomen, but what about other animals or different sizes? Though it's nice to imagine that your womb is an impenetrable fortress for your little one, you still have to take extra safety precautions when you're carrying a baby in your belly.
In addition to considering how heavy a pet may be, Rachel Borton, director of the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Bradley University, says you should remember that "animals are unpredictable and pets with long claws should not sit on mom's belly." What may seem like a minor scrape could lead to something more serious like an infection. "Even though a growing baby is surrounded by protective pool of fluid, it’s best not to have anything or anyone putting additional pressure on the uterus," OB-GYN Dr. Sherry Ross tells Romper. Besides, you're probably already feeling enough pressure in your pelvis as it is and wouldn't want to add to it.
If you're still looking for a black and white rule when it comes to placing restrictions on pets during your pregnancy, it seems the old adage of better safe than sorry comes in to play here. "You can let an animal sit on a pregnant belly, as long as the animal does not weigh more than 10 pounds,"OB-GYN Dr. Carlos Barrionuevo tells Romper. Both Ross and Borton agree with Barrionuevo on the size guidelines. Ross advises, however, that you "find a new resting place for that special animal in your life," so they don't feel completely displaced. After all, there are enough challenges between babies and pets. You don't want to make it worse.