More times than I can count, I've seen pictures online of people's pets in their birth pools. Tonight, I was looking around on Instagram and I found this one.
Look, I love cats. I mean, I really, really love cats. (I'll tell you about mine at the end.) I really, really hate cats and dogs in the birth pool.
Claws and vinyl don't mix. We've gotten pools back with claw holes in them more times than I can count. (One time we had a pet rat chew a hole in a pool that a client had purchased, and we had to quickly deliver a replacement.)
Also, the pool and the sealed liner are clean in preparation for your birth. When you put the liner on your pool ahead of labor and then allow your pet to get in it, you're transferring all kinds of bacteria into the pool where you're about to give birth.
Our instructions follow Texas' guidelines for birth pools, which clearly state that the pool should not be inflated until the midwife advises it. If you feel like you need to do a trial run with the liner in advance, get a second one so that there's a clean one ready for the actual birth.
And now, my cat story:
When Steve and I met, I had two: Presto and Clark. At the time, Presto was 9 and Clark was 17. Steve's terribly allergic to cats. Getting rid of my cats was not an option so when we got married, we agreed that I would keep the ones I had and that we wouldn't get any more after they crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Clark lived to be 22 and Presto is 18.
As I write this, Presto is snuggled up with our boys on the couch watching Wild Kratts. I got him when I was a junior in college and it's a bit surreal that he's lived long enough that my kids will remember him.