more Pregnancy faq

I’ve heard it’s not safe to change my cat’s litter box. Why is that?

Cat feces may sometimes contain a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis can be very dangerous during pregnancy, posing serious risks to your unborn baby including miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, mental retardation, blindness and other disabilities. Have someone else clean the litter box during your pregnancy, but if that’s not possible, always wear rubber gloves and wash your hands thoroughly when finished. Keep your cats indoors, so they won’t pick up the parasite if they don’t already carry it. An automatic litter box, which pretty much cleans itself, may be a great solution.

When will I get an ultrasound?

The majority of women will have their first ultrasound (or “sonogram”) early in the second trimester, usually between weeks 18 and 20 of pregnancy. This is the most common time for accurate detection of most major abnormalities and malformations and has generally become a matter of routine practice. Many centers are now performing ultrasounds at about 13-14 weeks to aid in diagnosis of Down Syndrome. Some doctors and midwives routinely do ultrasounds at about 7 weeks to confirm pregnancy, exclude ectopic pregnancy and measure crown-to-rump length for dating, while others only do first trimester ultrasounds if bleeding is present, an ectopic pregnancy is suspected or to get more accurate dating of the pregnancy. Additional ultrasounds will be ordered separately if an abnormality or problem related to your pregnancy is suspected.

When can I expect to feel my baby’s first movements?

Most women begin to notice gentle fluttering sensations (first movements are called “quickening”) around their 18th week of pregnancy. For first pregnancies, sometimes movements aren’t felt until a little later, possibly as late as the 22nd week of pregnancy. For subsequent pregnancies, occasionally movements can be felt as early as the 15th week. Second or third-time moms tend to feel movements and kicks earlier, because their uterine muscles are not as tight as they were the first time around and because movements are more easily recognized in subsequent pregnancies. Also, thinner women tend to feel movement earlier than overweight women on an average.
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