637 4060 ADDRESS: 60 Mount Street Lower, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2 info@merrionultrasound.ie

Early Pregnancy Lifestyle Advice-What Do Cats And Hot Tubs Have In Common

Finding out that you are pregnant is big news and if it is your first pregnancy you may want to clear up any of those nagging doubts about what you should and shouldn’t do. Getting some early pregnancy lifestyle advice will enable you to be confident that you are behaving in the most supportive way for you and the baby developing in your womb.

So let’s take a look at what cats and hot tubs have in common. Any cat lover will confirm that cats are therapeutic to have around, lower maintenance than dogs, lovely to stroke and relaxing to hear purring. They don’t need to be walked and are pretty self sufficient creatures, with the exception of their litter trays, which they have not yet learnt how to change for themselves unfortunately. Read on to be aware of the issue with cats and being pregnant.

1. Cats can carry a disease called toxoplasmosis

Cats can carry a disease called toxoplasmosis, which can be passed onto humans and can be transmitted from mother to fetus. Even though cats are very often blamed for spreading toxoplasmosis, in reality the source of human infections is more significant from raw meat. However the greatest risk from cats is from fecal contamination of hands. So kitty’s litter tray should ideally be out of bounds during pregnancy.

Ask your partner or someone else to change the litter tray daily. If there is no-one who can help with this task, you can do it yourself but use disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly. Do the same after petting cats. Many cat owners are already immune, but it is wiser not to take risks at such an important time.

2. Hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms,

Hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms, like kitty’s litter tray, are also best to avoid during pregnancy. This applies to anything that raises the body temperature over 102ºF and keeps it there for a while. So whether it is an extreme workout in hot weather or a dip in the hot tub, it is potentially dangerous to the developing embryo or fetus, in particular in the earlier months.

Although many women will get out before the temperature hits this level, long stays in hot situations like these are not recommended. Pregnant women have a higher risk of dehydration, lower blood pressure and dizziness; so best to avoid these situations. The key here is to find moderate ways to relax as well as exercise.

If you have green fingers you will need to wear gloves when gardening. Be aware that cats may have left “presents” in the soil, so make sure you wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly.

3. Cleaning products

Another time when you will want to wear gloves is when using any strong cleaning products. Wear rubber gloves to avoid absorption of chemicals into the skin. Ideally avoid using products such as oven cleaners at all. When cleaning it is advisable not to breathe in fumes of products and make sure that there is plenty of ventilation.

4. Be careful of ....

When it comes to food you will want to be extra careful. Don’t eat raw or undercooked meat or unpasteurised milk. When handling raw meat make sure you wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Fruit and vegetables should be rinsed also very thoroughly.

5. Avoid lead exposure

Avoid lead exposure. Lead can be found in old paint, pottery, earthenware and drinking water. Ensure that the water you drink is lead-free. If you live in an older house, especially if paint is flaky, then a job may need to be done, without you around. The same applies with some older objects. If you suspect lead, then avoid exposure and get someone else to get it checked out.

6. Habits to consider

Depending on what habits you’ve developed, adopting a healthy pregnancy lifestyle can also present some challenges. There are a few habits that in an ideal situation would be knocked on the head even before finding out you are pregnant. Please don’t panic, if this is not the case, instead be practical about making this change now. Get whatever support you need.

Smoking cigarettes or marihuana, drinking alcohol, taking too much caffeine and using drugs-both legal and illegal are all habits that need to be changed now if you haven’t done so already. Legal (over the counter) medication should be checked with your medical practitioner if you are pregnant, or suspect that you might be.

If you are finding it difficult to stop any of these habits, make sure you ask for help from your medical practitioner. Some women find it very easy and others don’t. Each person is different. Don’t let guilt consume you, instead act and take the first steps towards a healthier early pregnancy lifestyle.


Nuchal Translucency

12-14 weeks


Anatomy Survey

21-22 weeks


Later Dating

10-17 weeks


Gender Scan

19 weeks onwards


Growth & Well Being

22 weeks onwards


Post Dates & Liquor

40 weeks onwards

Midwife sonographer facilitated

Consultant Led, Centre of Medical Excellence 


All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.


This website was formerly Merrion Fetal Health. The clinic has undergone a rebrand and is now known as Merrion Ultrasound.