High on the list of frenemies for pregnant women are maternity clothes, baby registries, the waiting room at the doctor’s office, and Google. Like, I can’t imagine pregnancy without them, but I can’t say I particularly enjoy any of them, either. Especially you, Google. The Google searches performed while pregnant, specifically the ones I found myself doing between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., are the stuff nightmares are made of. Because, if I’m pregnant, and awake, and Googling at those hours, then you know it’s because something is going down.
And, while I have many reasons to thank Google, like for helping me keep tabs of the cast of Troop Beverly Hills, figuring out just what is up with moon cycles, and determining how basic it is for me to buy an adult coloring book, sometimes I yearn for a simpler time, when I wasn’t didn’t have the answer to everything at my fingertips. There is such a thing as too much information, after all. And I can’t think of a time when this rang truer than during pregnancy. Based on the conversations I’ve seen on message boards and in online moms groups, I know I’m not alone. Here’s a small sampling of some of the common things many of us are turning to Google for during pregnancy:
"Can I _______ PREGNANT?
Yes, some of these are fairly obvious, like "can I have caffeine pregnant?" But many or not, like "Can I go on gentle theme park rides pregnant"? Or "Can I go marathon shopping followed by french fries pregnant"? Or "Can I drink herbal tea of questionable origin pregnant"? I needed answers.
Delivery Horror Stories
I thought it would be scarier to not know. I was wrong.
How Much Your Kid Will Cost You
You know, as I knew, that kids are expensive. And it definitely makes sense to estimate costs and budget accordingly when you have a kid on the way. Still, do not be surprised if you find yourself Googling "parents bankrupted by children." I sought comfort in reminding myself that there are lots of financial factors at play, like the cost of living in my city, whether or not we do expensive activities, and whether or not my son can add to our income by becoming a child model. But still, I don't recommend this one unless you enjoy torture.
Weight Gain Averages
Logically, I knew that the internet probably wasn't my best source of information about how my weight gain was coming along, and that comparing myself to other women wasn't especially wise...but still I couldn't help myself. I'm not proud.
It's been a long time since middle school sex-ed, guys. I've had very little exposure to actual births in my life. That said, most of what's readily available online was not, um, super helpful. My recommendation is to stick to the videos available in birthing class.
Things You Already Know
I mean, I was pretty sure that raw fish and wine, albeit wonderful, were not recommended. It was satisfying to double-check and see that YES, YES I DO HAVE SOME KNOWLEDGE.
Any Conceivable Way To Ease Your Symptoms
Sure, we all know about ginger ale and saltines, and many of us aren't strangers to those sexy nausea bands you can wear on your wrists. However, I went on many a deep dive into multiple internet rabbit holes to find even more answers. While most of my efforts were fruitless, the breaks I took to check out baby elephant GIFs were not.
Random Food Recipes
Pop quiz, Google: What's something spicy AND creamy AND hot AND easy to digest?
Everything That Could Be Wrong
Oh man. "Boobs not as sore as yesterday." "What if cat litter got into my phone will I get toxoplasmosis?" "What if my prenatal vitamins aren't enough?" "Nails brittle bad sign pregnant?" "Skin too dry pregnant?" "Skin too moist (ew) pregnant?" In retrospect I realize that I was searching those terms, but what I was looking for from Google was the same thing all pregnant women are looking for, the thing hardest to come by when you're waiting to give birth: reassurance. And although I'm not sure Google ever gave it to me, it at least kept me company.