EnRICHing the iguana/keeper relationship through accurate care information and compassionate re-homing.
One of the reasons people surrender their iguana to RICA is that they are expecting a baby and worry about health issues, and rightly so. There is always a concern about Salmonella. Having an iguana while pregnant, or with small children is challenging, but do-able. Here are some real life tips from RICA's own Asra V.
Being pregnant, having a baby, and having a toddler are all pretty unique situations with unique challenges. I'll break it down into my experiences, which don't necessarily mirror what others are going through.
DISCLAIMER: I have a 17 year old female iguana, who is the calmest thing in the whole world. If you've got a hatchling or a temperamental male, please think of your child's safety before allowing them near your lizard. Kids often make sudden movements, and your iguana could show aggression if it interprets their bounciness as threatening.
Be safe, and GET HELP. The first trimester and maybe even beyond, the fatigue can get so debilitating that you just won't feel like doing much. Since iguanas can carry salmonella, try to have someone else do the iguana's daily pooping and sterilization of the tub. If you can, it would be safest to even have a dedicated tub for the lizard that you won't use during your pregnancy. If no one else can do it, buy some disposable gloves.
Make a week's worth of salads on a slow day (my prep day is usually Sunday). Put the chopped greens and cut up veggies in individual gallon zip bags with a couple sheets of paper towels, then squeeze the air out and seal. If you just do it once a week, all you'll need to do each day is pull out the bag, dump it in a clean iguana bowl and bon appetit! If you have to deal with poopy cages or poopy box water, wear disposable gloves. I also got a big box of puppy pads instead of newspaper for the bottom of her cage, as the urates would soak all the way through to the bottom of the cage, which made for more problematic cleanup. The puppy pads have a plastic bottom and are pretty absorbent, so the potential for large messes is decreased.
I'd recommend the same things as during pregnancy, gloves, puppy pads, week's salad in advance. The only change would be to start including your baby by saying what you're doing out loud. Throw the kid in a high chair so s/he can see what you're doing, even if s/he can't talk back or help. As the baby becomes more mobile and begins to eat solid food, give 'em some peas or sweet potato. Get the whole family eating those salads!
This is the awesome "helper" stage, if you can get through the pregnancy and small baby stages. You have a tiny helper who by this time will SURELY LOVE the lizard, and will SURELY want to help. Depending on your lizard's temperament, your child might be able to help with almost anything (though I still do the actual poopy cleanup).
Having your toddler involved helps to teach them to care for a pet.
Practice using scissors or ripping greens for fine motor skills.
Usually, she wants to eat some of the veggies as she's helping to make the salad... BONUS!
My lizard is so calm, I can burrito her and have my 2 year old carry her to the tub.
Practice hand-washing skills after handling.
You could even give her a "lizard-only" toothbrush and have her gently "scrub" the iguana in the tub, especially if the iguana is starting to shed. Obviously, make sure they know that particular toothbrush is NOT for their mouth, and ONLY for scrubbing the lizard.
At any of these stages, don't beat yourself up if you miss a day here and there. Your ig may give you the stink eye or might poop paint in retaliation, but some days you just can't fit it all in. Your ig needs you, but your baby REALLY needs you too!