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Woof! Don’t Forget About Me!

dog care

Who is going to take care of your dog while you are in labor?

I wish I had thought more about this. I was planning a homebirth with a licensed midwife. Our dog, Nikita, would just hang out at home with us. Planning for something else never even crossed my mind.

She was really sweet, caring and concerned about me the entire labor. She stayed close a lot of the time and I loved that. It felt like she understood what was happening. (Birth story photos here.) But….we had just moved into our house a month earlier, and we hadn’t yet installed a doggy door to the backyard. So every time she wanted to come in or out she would howl at the sliding glass door or scratch at it until somebody came and opened the door for her. The midwife, birth assistant, doula and my husband were busy taking care of me and doing their duties, so they didn’t respond to her requests very quickly. And she was the type of dog that went in and out and in and out often. She seemed particularly unsettled. The howling was breaking my concentration while I was trying to focus and get through the difficult contractions. Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed by the situation and I wished I would have thought about it ahead of time and arranged a better plan. She could have stayed with a friend for the day or we could have had the doggy door installed sooner.

If you are planning to give birth at a birth center or a hospital, you will be away from your home for one to three days or more. So, of course, you will need a plan for your sweet puppy too! Hopefully you have family, friends or a trusted dog-sitter or there is a local doggy day care. Add this task to your list of things that you need to be prepared for before the big day. You’ll be glad that you did!

About Christie Collbran

Christie Collbran is the owner and founder of Buddha Belly. Christie believes in helping women recognize their own inner wisdom, strength and power and has more than ten years of experience serving families as a doula.

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