Pregnancy risk assessment on the farm – Be careful this calving season
Spring is well underway across the country and many farming families are experiencing their busiest time of year with new stock being born daily on farms.
In general we are seeing and hearing a lot more information about farm safety in recent years, with issues relating to machinery, equipment, livestock handling and good farming habits usually featuring in public safety campaigns.
However, a somewhat lesser known pregnancy risk assessment on the farm is also vitally important to bear in mind –the risks that are posed to pregnant women during calving and lambing season.
While common sense would indicate for pregnant women to take extra care of themselves when physically moving around the farm, there are additional dangers that are specifically related to the birthing of livestock.
A woman at any stage of their pregnancy should avoid any contact whatsoever with a cow that is calving or a ewe that is lambing.
The same applies to cattle, goats and sheep that have recently given birth, as the risk of infection from afterbirth products or birthing fluids presents a real risk of infection to mothers.
Pregnant women should also avoid handling or aborted or newborn lambs, any birth fluids or bedding or floor areas that are possibly contaminated.
Care should also be taken when handling, cleaning or washing clothes, boots or any other materials that have recently been in contact with the animals mentioned above-they will be safe to handle again after a hot machine wash.
Finally, the use of proper PPE and its subsequent cleaning on a farm is in everyone’s best interests when preventing the spread of infections and overall pregnancy risk assessment.
If you are pregnant and ever experience an onset of fever or flu-like symptoms and have been active in a farm environment, please seek medical advice as soon as possible and take care of your own safety and that of your unborn child above all else.
As always Brennan’s Pharmacy welcomes any enquiries from our farming communities or anyone seeking more information-please feel free to enquire in any of our stores or reach us at our contact details here.