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Can Dogs Help Women Ease the Anxiety of Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is an anxious time, but including all members of the family might alleviate stress.

 |  Feb 1st 2013  |   2 Contributions

Pregnancy can be a stressful enough experience on its own, so you can only imagine how lonely and frightening it is for women who are hospitalized on bed rest. Luckily, pregnant women at Denver's Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center are allowed visits from their dogs  to help ease anxiety, according to KCNC-TV.

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Why not have all your family members with you? Photo: Pregnant woman and sheep-dog licking her belly by Shutterstock

Jesi Roskop has been at St. Luke's for five weeks now. She is expecting her fourth child, and due to complications, she must be regularly monitored. Her husband, Doug Roskop, stays at the hospital one night a week and brings the kids, including Milo the mini Dachshund, on weekends.

"It makes it feel more like home. It's comforting, you know," said Jesi. "To me, this is one of my kids."

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They're family anyway, right? Photo: Pregnant woman reading book by Shutterstock

For anxious and worried patients, dogs are the perfect companions at the hospital.

Dr. Angela Gray agrees: "We know that when the body is less stressed, there's less complications in general. And so if an animal can provide decreased stress and happiness, then that would be a bonus for our patients, and us."

Still, patients must get permission to bring their dogs in, and all pups must have recent vet checks and vaccinations. And just like at home, parents must clean up after their pets.

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