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'Dog Days' Ease Anxiety For Hospitalized Pregnant Women

DENVER (CBS4) - It can be a lonely existence for women who are pregnant and hospitalized on bed rest. Living away from loved ones can take a toll. CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh found a Denver hospital making sure moms-to-be get to see their best friends on four legs.

At Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center it's been policy for more than 16 years to let pregnant women get visits from their dogs, much to the delight of anxious patients.

Milo the adorable mini dachshund has been missing his human. Jesi Roskop is pregnant with her fourth child and has been in the hospital for five weeks. She's had complications serious enough to dictate bed rest and monitoring.

Father-to-be Doug Roskop stays over one night a week. He brings the children from Fort Morgan on the weekends. And at Presbyterian/St Luke's, the Roskop dogs can visit as well.

"To me, this is one of my kids," Jesi said.

Milo is mellow and was quick to settle in on Jesi's bed.

"It makes it feel more like home, it's comforting, you know," Jesi said.

Doctors say the "dog days" are good for worried patients.

"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," Dr. Angela Gray said.

Jesi thinks the visit is also good for Milo.

"They're just like anybody else; more time away from them makes them sad too," she said.

Milo accompanied the family to an ultrasound. He walked the halls like a regular. Having a hound in the hospital brightens everybody's day.

There are rules about bringing pups to the hospital. Among them, patients have to get permission. They have to have a vet-check and appropriate vaccinations. The animal needs to be bathed 24 hours prior to the visit. And owners need to clean up any messes.

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