Lambing days- really dangerous or not??(12 Posts)
I'm supposed to be going to a lambing day with the family next weekend and my OH read in an advert for a lambing day at a farm that pregnant women shouldn't attend.
I googled it and its to do with a few nasty diseases/illnesses that can be caught from newborn lambs (like toxoplasmosis and I can't remember the other two)
I'm now worried about going (I'm in 1st tri) but is it being over cautious? If i just stay away from the animals is this enough or could it be transferred on clothes and wellies etc?
Anyone have any sensible advice or info? thanks!
No, its really not being cautious. The farming families I know "plan" pregnancies to start after lambing has finished, and end just before the next season! Yes, I know biology doesn't always behave like that.
The girl recently due in March, spent a lot of time away from DH, as he was lambing. It was a change of clothes before coming home, and the farmers wife washed all his work clothes so pregnant partner didn't have to. if farming families take it this seriously, I'd pass til next year - and I'm pretty blasé about pregnancy guidelines.
If it were me, I would give it a miss. I work in a lab and one of the big things on my risk assessment is to avoid the sheep samples that come in.
I work on a small farm and have not worried at all about toxoplasmosis. You need to make contact with the virus and injest it. I have been at birthings, etc. but just taken a step back (and shouted instructions when anything needed assistance ) I feed my dogs raw meat and figure the risk of this is as high as lambs - however I wash my hands, etc and do the same when I'm around the animals.
One of the other risks is chlamydiosis which is air borne and causes animals to abort their babies. If an animal aborted a baby early, I would steer clear and certainly wouldn't have been around bedding, etc afterwards. Obviously it's up to you, but I think if you stand back and are very careful with hand washing and hygiene the risks are nominal.
When pregnant I wouldn't go near ewes if they were close to lambing, were lambing or had little lambs. Wouldn't even help bottle feed a ver young lamb.
Tbo, can't remember the details but I do recall the risk of miscarriage. I guess you need to look at how high the risk is and if you are happy to take it.
Just Googled and can't link but the NHS have a webpage called why should pregnant women avoid sheep during the lambing season.
Link here http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/934.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=131
Advice is to avoid close contact so as long as you don't touch should be fine
I'd strongly advise you to give the lambing day a miss. The risk is real and all farming families, vets, etc take it very seriously. As someone said up thread, the nasties are carried on clothes, boots, equipment etc as well as direct contact and when you're pregnant you really need to avoid all contact.
If the rest of your family go to the lambing day and have contact with the sheep, make sure you don't do the resulting laundry- get DH to do it!
One day out that you can do next year really isn't worth risking a miscarriage for
Yep, my family are sheep farmers and when 8weeks pg with DS went home for weekend to "tell". I hadn't told DM until we'd already gone for a walk round the fields and sheep sheds checking the new lambs. When we broke the news later she was beside herself and so cross with me. I thought I'd be ok just not touching anything and washing my hands when we got in.
DM it turns out mc'd once during lambing time (before she even came back to work on family farm) and she has heard of other incidences of mc.
Not worth the risk
Please don't go- it's not toxo that's the problem, there's a risk of stillbirth/miscarriage even if you only have indirect contact with the afterbirth.
I actually went to a lambing day a little while ago, I didn't know there were risks. there were other animals and activities too which were fine but they wouldn't let me in the sheep stables, a member of staff took my 3yo in for a look whilst I waited outside. I wouldn't risk it if I knew. x
oh God, thanks so much for your replies. A lot of mixed views but the ones that have stated reasons not to go sure have got me worried. (and not in a bad way, I appreciate the info!).....
Last time we went it was a case of going round the farm on a trailer (pulled by a tractor) so only viewing the new lambs from there, then walking around (not near the lambs that have been born) and a hog roast, etc. But I am concerned about people transferring the viruses from their clothes- the people that have been close to the lambs. You can't see it and like some of you say so who knows if the risk is still high- weighing a nice day out against the chance of a miscarriage definitely isn't worth the risk...
I'd have to tell friends who don't know I'm pregnant that I can't go (maybe kids and OH can still go...)
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