Congratulations! A baby's on the way! No other feeling can compare to that of carrying another life inside of you. Someone who will love you as much as you love them and change life as you know it forever.
As you begin to process the pregnancy, various emotions such as shock, fear, happiness and others may start to flood your mind. You probably also have some thought-provoking questions such as: Who should you tell first? Who will the baby look like? Will you be a good mother? How much weight will you gain? What will you name the baby? The list can go on and on.
As you prepare for the nine-month journey ahead of you, you will encounter many different pregnancy symptoms along the way. According to WebMD, morning sickness is a common pregnancy symptom likely caused by pregnancy hormones but not necessarily experienced by every woman. During pregnancy, the body will undergo many different changes and symptoms as the baby develops and grows. Some of these pregnancy symptoms such as nausea will be common while others might leave you scratching your head and wondering, "Is this normal?"
Rather than call the OBGYN or midwife about every pregnancy symptom you have, why not use the power of the Internet? With the Internet at your fingertips via your smartphone or other mobile devices, it's easy to search Google for answers about various pregnancy symptoms. Research suggests that more than one-third of U.S. adults use the Internet to diagnose medical conditions. However, it's not always a good idea to do so. Below are 15 reasons not to Google pregnancy symptoms:
15 It Increases Paranoia
As you progress through your pregnancy, you are going to experience numerous unexplained aches and pains throughout your body. Depending on whether this is your first child or not, each pregnancy is different and can be hard to compare to the previous one. As a result, you will be tempted to Google every symptom to make certain that you and your baby are fine and everything is normal. Although you might think this will help you be proactive rather than reactive in the event something should happen, you can slowly make yourself paranoid.
By Googling your pregnancy symptoms, you could become paranoid and convince yourself that otherwise normal pregnancy symptoms are indications of more serious, underlying problems. According to the Mayo Clinic, you could develop health anxiety and believe that you are more ill than you actually are. In others words, you could slowly become a hypochondriac.
All symptoms are not the same for every woman and should not be treated the same. It's recommended that you consult with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis concerning any pregnancy symptoms you experience and to make sure that you and your baby are fine.
14 It May Not Be Relevant Anymore
When you Google for pregnancy symptoms information, you must first consider how long ago the information was posted. It's very easy for anyone to set up a website or blog and post information to it. What might have been current information at the time the website or blog was created could now be outdated. The last thing you want to do is trust outdated information.
You also need to consider when the information was last updated. Is this information listed anywhere on the page? With so many technological advances in medicine and pregnancy, you don't want to be considering outdated information. Over time, information that was once current can become outdated and remain on the Internet until someone removes or updates it. Do you really want to take a chance and trust this information? Probably not!
If there is no date listed, it's impossible to know when the information first became available on the Internet, or to know the information's reliability. It's probably a good idea not to consider this information too much - or at all.
13 Produces Unnecessary Stress
In life, stress is unavoidable but constant stress during pregnancy should be avoided. Sometimes you might not be able to see the effects of stress but it can produce serious underlying effects within your body. Findings by The March of Dimes indicate that constant stress during pregnancy can lead to high blood pressure, premature births, or low-birthweight babies. Stressing over every pregnancy symptom won't change your situation or add anything positive to it except undue stress. You should be enjoying your pregnancy rather than stressing over it. Pregnancy is already stressful enough so why add to it by Googling your symptoms?
Instead of Googling your symptoms, learn how to relax and enjoy your pregnancy. Likewise, learn how to appreciate the journey that others may never experience and enjoy. Nine months might seem like a long time but it goes by fast. As for those non-life threatening symptoms, jot them down in your smartphone or in a journal and discuss them with your doctor at your next appointment.
12 Illicit's Unwarranted Fear
"Only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Although this was used in Franklin Roosevelt's first inaugural address, it can still be applied to other situations as well.
Sometimes you can fill yourself with unnecessary fear by Googling your pregnancy symptoms. As you read articles and blog posts from others discussing their similar symptoms, along with sharing their positive and negative stories, it's easy to start putting yourself in their shoes and start thinking "What if this happens to me?" This is especially true after reading nightmare accounts of similar pregnancy symptoms. Although it's small and subtle, the seed of fear has been planted.
Once fear enters into your mind, it's hard to get rid of it. Fear has been defined as an emotional response induced by a perceived threat. In other words, you start to believe that something will come along and threaten your pregnancy, thus making you fearful.
Don't be controlled by fear but instead learn how to control it. There will be fearful moments in your pregnancy but don't let the fears of others become yours. You already have enough.
11 Is Information Accurate?
Just because something is on the Internet automatically makes it true, right? This couldn't be further from the truth!
When you read information on various pregnancy forums and blogs, you not only must consider the source of the information but also the credentials of the person providing the information. Most of the contributors are either other expecting mothers, mothers who have at least one child and are sharing their experiences, or mothers looking for others to share their experiences with to help them relieve anxiety on a particular subject. Why would you trust information from people that you don't know anything about?
Although many contributors want to provide helpful advice, you have to remember that it is just that: advice. Typically, there is no medical evidence to support it unless the advisor happens to be a nurse. As with any advice, you must take it with a grain of salt and consult your doctor.
10 Leads To Information Overload
We live in an Information Age where whatever information you are looking for can be found on the Internet with only a few clicks or touches of a touchscreen. With so much information available on the Internet and social media platforms accessible at your fingertips via a smartphone or mobile device, it's easy to become consumed by it. Depending on how you receive your information (i.e. rss feeds, social media, email, etc.) it's possible to receive and read too much information on a particular pregnancy symptom. One article or blog post can lead you to another related article or post and so on and so on. Before you know it, you can easily become overwhelmed. Thus, information overload.
Try not to read everything that you find on a particular pregnancy symptom. As hard as it might be to not click on every Google search engine result, learn to resist the urge. Instead, limit yourself to one or two articles or blog posts from reliable sources. This will prevent you from becoming a victim of information overload.
9 Become Obsessed With Googling
When Googling for pregnancy symptoms information, you have the best intentions. You only want to try to gain some information that will help put your pregnancy symptoms into perspective and put your mind at ease. However, it's easy to become consumed by Googling for information. What started out as a simple quest for information can quickly and unintentionally become an obsession. You can become obsessed with finding out about every one of your pregnancy symptoms and can't wait to fire up your smartphone's or mobile device's web browser and start Googling.
It's best not to obsess over Googling your pregnancy symptoms. This is easier said than done but what can you do to ease your fears? Try to remain calm and categorize your symptoms into either life-threatening or non-life threatening. Also, set a limit for the number of pregnancy symptoms you will look into. The smaller the number of symptoms you research, the less fearful and stressed you will be. As always, consult your doctor for any symptoms you might experience that seem life-threatening no matter how small.
8 Is Time Consuming
We live in a world consumed by time. Like it or not, we all have time constraints which we cannot change. There are only 24 hours in a day no matter how much we wish there were more, so why would you spend more time than you need to Googling symptom information? Even though getting results about your pregnancy symptoms from Google can be fast, you are still using up a good portion of your limited 24 hours.
Searching for symptoms can be time consuming. A search for one pregnancy symptom such as swelling could return thousands of search results that you must filter through to determine which ones you should explore further. If you follow every rabbit hole of information presented to you by Google in its search results, you could spend a lot of time trying to diagnose and understand a simple symptom. Who has that kind of time? Being pregnant is already tiring so why add extra work to make yourself more tired?
7 Leads To Inaccurate Diagnosis
One of the biggest downsides to researching your symptoms is the tendency to self-diagnose yourself. Armed with a few pregnancy symptoms and information that you find online, you begin to form your own diagnosis. The problem with this approach is that unless you have a medical background in reproductive medicine, it will be difficult to make an accurate conclusion concerning your symptoms. As a result, you have now replaced your doctor with information from various medical and non-medical websites and possibly put you and your unborn baby's life in jeopardy.
It is never a good idea to try and self-diagnose. You have too much at stake by doing this. For a formal and accurate diagnosis, always consult your doctor. He or she is a trained, skilled medical professional with years of experience treating patients with similar symptoms and can easily make the correct diagnosis - if there even is one.
6 It's Depressing
Your main goal when Googling your pregnancy symptoms is to find some reliable and accurate information that addresses your concerns while relieving your fears. As you sort through the information and begin to read the good as well as the bad information, your mood can drastically change from optimistic to pessimistic. Research suggests that constant exposure to bad or negative information can negatively affect your mood. Before you know it, you're left feeling down and depressed which could cause you to overindulge in unhealthy habits that put both you and your unborn baby at risk.
Don't allow negative information to control you or your mood. Instead, try reducing the amount of bad information that you read to maintain an optimistic and positive outlook. The world has enough bad things going on, so why not focus on the positives of your pregnancy. Your unborn child will appreciate it.
5 Too Many Non-Credible Information Sources
Would you believe and trust the advice of someone you didn't know? Probably not. When you are Googling your symptoms, this is exactly what you are doing.
Unfortunately, the Internet allows anyone to present themselves as an authority on a particular topic regardless of whether they are or not. Determining the credibility of any source of information that you find online is important. You want to make sure that the information and the source are reliable and trustworthy. If not, you could be jeopardizing the health of your baby and yourself.
Many websites such as WedMD.com, Mayoclinic.org and CDC.gov, to name a few, are highly recognized sources for providing accurate medical information on various medical topics. You can trust and depend on their information because their sources consist of doctors and scientists with the necessary credentials to support their findings and claims. As for lesser known websites, their sources along with their credentials are sometimes unknown or not based on medical evidence at all.
4 Steals The Joy
Being pregnant is supposed to be a joyous and happy time. A time where the memories will last a lifetime. Why would you let anything interfere with that?
Spending time Googling your pregnancy symptoms can rob you of the joy that you should be experiencing with your pregnancy. Instead of preparing for your new bundle of joy, you are wasting valuable time glued to your computer or mobile device that could be used to bond with your unborn child. Time is precious and once it's gone, it's gone forever. You can't get it back.
Instead of being glued to your computer researching your symptoms, focus on the joy and blessing of being pregnant. Everyone doesn't receive this blessing. Consider making a scrapbook of your pregnancy that you can one day share with your child when he or she gets older. You don't know how many more times you will take this pregnancy journey, so enjoy it while it lasts and you can still appreciate it.
3 Can Develop Cyberchondria
Doctors are concerned about a potential epidemic that is on the rise due in part to the increased availability of the Internet: cyberchondria.
Cyberchondria is when patients research any and all symptoms and conditions of an illness which leads to a state or feeling of medical anxiety. Believe it or not, there was a time when everyone didn't have access to the Internet. When you experienced symptoms, you had to make an appointment to see a doctor to have your symptoms checked out. With the advances in technology, smartphones, mobile devices, and free Wifi almost anywhere you go, everyone has Internet access that can be used to research symptoms. As a result, more and more people are susceptible to this condition.
Coping with pregnancy anxiety is enough to deal with so why put yourself at an increased risk for cyberchondria? To decrease your risk, it's best to not Google your symptoms, but instead, leave it to the medical professionals.
2 Increases Anxiety
Pregnancy is one of life's events that automatically produces anxiety. There is so much involved in the process that you don't understand and have direct control over that can make you anxious. For nine months, you must share your body with someone else while being aware of anything and everything that is going on inside of your body that might or might not be normal. Oftentimes it can be difficult to determine what is or isn't normal particularly during your first pregnancy.
As you begin to experience different symptoms that you might not be familiar with and start Googling them, your anxiety level can increase. The fear of the unknown often stimulates anxiety, especially when you're responsible for another tiny, growing life, and keeps you feeling like you're on pins and needles.
1 Causes Unnecessary Panic
No one likes to panic. Who enjoys experiencing that jaw dropping, eyes bulging, intense heart pounding and breathless feeling that is similar to feeling stressed, even though it comes upon you suddenly but usually doesn't last long? No one.
When you panic, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol than normal and enters into a state of fight or flight until the perceived threat is gone. This puts undue pressure on your heart and causes a spike in your blood pressure. Every time you Google a pregnancy symptom and review the results, you are putting your body in panic mode because you believe that something might be wrong. This is not good for you or your baby.
There is no need to panic unnecessarily. Always call your doctor or midwife to discuss your symptoms. While waiting on a return call from your doctor or midwife, call your mother or a trusted friend for encouragement and support.