Gardening and pregnancy: how safe is it?

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Can't a pregnant woman plant a stupid geranium without someone jumping out of the bushes to tut tut her?!

This one was a surprise to me until I stumbled across it looking for litter box cleaning information. It's yet another degree removed from the cat box blurb.

Cat eats something infected with toxoplasmosis, cat gets infected, cat poos in your garden, you plant a marigold and touch the poo, you put your dirty hands in your mouth and ingest the poo, you get toxoplasmosis, you pass it along to your baby and your baby gets brain damage or something equally horrible.

I dunno, I think this one is up there with "don't walk out the front door while pregnant because a tree limb could fall on your head". I'm sure it happens but is it really way up there on the no-nos? I would think getting all the way down to plant the flowers would be the bigger challenge while pregnant but, what do I know.

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Is it okay to eat rare steak while pregnant?

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E. coli and salmonella are food borne illness that come along with undercooked or rare meat.

E. coli is a little dicey and I'm finding conflicting opinions on how real the danger is.

Unlike a steak where the outside is cooked, the biggest concern seems to be with undercooked ground beef (where the outside of the meat could get ground into the inside) and not with a rare steak where the outside (where the bateria could be) is cooked.

Salmonella is nasty and can make you pretty sick but it won't directly harm your baby.

Another worry is toxoplasmosis.

It's a parasite that is transmitted by eating infected meat or by ingestion of feces of a cat that has itself recently been infected. Some sites claim that up to one third of the world's population carry a toxoplasma infection and that you can get it and not even know it. If you've been previously infected then you acquire an immunity to subsequent infections.

The crap thing is, if you haven't had it before but you get it while you're pregnant, you can transmit this infection to your baby who doesn't have much of an immune system and it can cause brain damage and blindness. It sounds pretty scary but, even though the cyst form of the parasite is extremely hardy, it is susceptible to high temperatures and is thus killed by thorough cooking, and would be killed within 24 hours in a typical domestic freezer.

It sounds like eating bugers well done, hand washing after handling raw meat and not licking the steak before it hits the bbq should help.

search: toxoplasmosis, raw meat pregnancy, eating raw meat dangers, salmonella and pregnancy, e. coli and pregnancy

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Toxoplasma...wha? So can I change the litter box while pregnant?

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Okay, I think this one was made up by a pregnant woman to get out of cleaning the kitty litter.

I can't say I blame her, between morning sickness and an extra 30lbs, scooping out cat poo is about the last thing you want to do. But what if you're the only one around and your cat is standing on a mountain of crap?

The big scare on this one is something called toxoplasmosis. It's a parasite that is transmitted between warm blooded animals. You can get it from ingesting the raw or uncooked meat from something infected with it or from ingesting the feces of an infected cat. It can cause all kinds of nasty problems in an unborn child like brain damage and blindness, just to name a few.

The cat most likely got it from eating an infected rodent so if Mittens is an indoor cat, you're probably okay. Even if he does have it, you literally have to ingest the parasite (well technically a cyst called an oocyst) in his poop.

This one also sounds like a bit of a run away train because if you worry about the poop in the litter box, then you need to worry about the poop that may be in garden soil and if you don't garden well what about the person who was gardening and shook your hand and then you touched your mouth?! You see where this one is going.

It looks like this is a relatively rare thing and to it sounds like becoming infected when you're pregnant is a bit of a perfect storm but with the effects being so scary, it gets a lot of attention.

Hey, if you can get out of it, go for it. If you can't, a little hand washing or glove wearing will go along way, that, and maybe cutting down on your cat shit consumption – at least during your pregnancy anyway.

search: toxoplasmosis, cat litter during pregnancy, oocyst

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