As pregnant women, we are all guilty of turning to the internet with any and every concern, question, and curiosity. Hey, even non-preggo civilians tend to rely on the online forums and doctors to diagnose their ailments. Of course the majority of the time, those diagnosis tend to be outrageously false and bordering on just plain comical. But the point stands that as a society as a whole today, we consider Google our best friend, second only to your favorite live human.
Throw in the status of being with child and relying on Google turns into something much bigger, and all too often our swollen fingers can't move fast enough over the suddenly tiny screen keyboard on our cell phones as we search out our new symptoms and hope that Google will return some good news.
Some of us prefer to pull out that bad boy after a long day and scroll through your results while in bed, the bright screen inches from your face as you feverishly read. Others prefer to crack out that bad boy while sitting idly in the doctor's waiting room. And even though your very own live doctor is going to be there in just a few short - okay maybe a long 15 - minutes, you can't help but Google your latest pregnancy-related question.
Some of the most common searches involve common things like pregnancy symptoms, while others go on to search out any at-home experiments to learn more about their babies. Either way, don't be afraid to admit that you too are a chronic Googler. Because, quite frankly, you are hardly alone.
7 "Videos Of Baby Kicks"
The only thing cooler than seeing your tummy move from your own baby pressing against the inside of your stomach is watching the videos of others in the same boat. Even better, those whose babies are destined to be either karate champions or world renowned gymnasts. The internet is full of the uploaded home videos showcasing a pulsing pregnant belly, its smooth roundness momentarily distorted by the kicks and nudged from within.
And as a pregnant woman, you are naturally drawn to these videos.
If your mind isn't already on baby stuff constantly, it would definitely be as you sit in the waiting room or exam room, waiting for your doctor to make his or her grand entrance. Just being in the atmosphere of sonogram machines and handheld Doppler puts you in the frame of mind to see what other mamas out there are up against with their own tiny baby brewing in there.
Sure, you can - and do - enjoy your own movements from your own little bean, but there is almost a sense of comradery as you watch others' videos online and share in their joy.
6 "At Home Workouts Post-Baby"
In the age of Pinterest everything, searching for workout routines on Google is sure to result in thousands of pages dedicated to getting that body back. Or, at the very least, firming up some of that softness that you fear is here to stay. So it should come as no surprise that those women waiting in the doctor's office would turn to the internet for help.
It doesn't make it any easier when another patient walks through the door - a tall, very much not pregnant, flat-bellied creature - and sits down in the row of chairs directly across from you.
Fitness is a big concern for pregnant women
Everyone has their moments of self-consciousness and even more so when you're pregnant and your body is ever-changing, but getting a view like that when you feel like this is just another nudge for you to whip out that smartphone and get to Googling.
5 "Can I Have Sushi At All?"
Sometimes, it feels as if pregnancy entails a giant list of can'ts. You can't ride rollercoasters (duh), you can't change the kitty litter box (whew!), you can't have any caffeine (tea it is!), and you can't partake in the yumminess of sushi (say what?).
But contrary to what seasoned mothers will tell you, studies now show that consumption of fish while pregnant is actually totally okay. The truth is, things are changing and rules are evolving all of the time. So what your older sister may have been told when she was pregnant the first time around may not apply for you now.
Not all pregnancy precautions are senseless
Now, don't go ignoring all of the advice that is likely being tossed to you everywhere you go. Just because one pregnancy "rule" is outdated, it doesn't mean that you can simply throw caution to the wind and go on your merry way doing whatever the heck you want.
Those aunts and sisters of yours may not be new mommies, but they were at one point and their years of raising children has likely given them knowledge that you could do to accept and look up to. Just, don't be afraid to throw your own knowledge at them when they try to smack that tuna roll out of your hand.
4 "Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy"
Not only will you be Googling this in the doctor's office, but also likely during your tenth bathroom break of the day, during your favorite primetime TV shows, while you brush your teeth, right after your shower, and so on. In fact, even those who aren't pregnant tend to Google what a proper weight is for them period.
While it is always a good idea to be conscious of your health and to remain at a healthy weight and BMI, it is also important to not stress over the number on the dreaded scale. At least while your little one is brewing in your tummy.
You just want to make sure that you're not straying too far from the norm
But at a time when you're already growing increasingly self-conscious of your body and the immense changes it is going through, you are likely also growing pretty concerned with what is considered "normal" weight gain during your nine months growing a baby. The most important thing is that you are eating as healthy as possible and not using baby as an excuse for nightly fast food runs.
Sure, giving in to some of those ghastly cravings is a must at times, but your overall weight gain should only lie somewhere between 25 and 35 pounds by the end of your third trimester.
3 "How To Tell Baby's Gender Before Weeks"
If we had a time for every pregnant woman who tried to get these sorts of answers far earlier than expected. . .But really, what expectant mama hasn't went to Google for answers to inquiries like this? Enjoying the first months of your pregnancy is a wonderful thing and watching your belly slowly begin to swell is a sight for sure. But there comes a point where you want more. You don't want to just wait around for another month until your gender appointment.
So you try the heartbeat method. As in, if it's a boy, his heart rate will be above 150 beats per minute. And if it's a girl, the heart rate will be above that. You come across Intelligender, an at-home test that will supposedly tell you your baby's gender at "as early as 10 weeks". Getting back to the basics, it requires just a sampling of your urine to determine if your tiny growing baby is a boy or a girl.
In this case, a picture and a technician are worth a thousand words
Then, there is the old wives' superstition that those pregnant bellies which are high are likely girls and the lower carrying will be having boys. In the world of instant answers online, it's hard to resist the urge to click away the moment you have another burning question.
Nothing is probably as accurate as that elusive 20 week scan, but the guessing game leading up to it can be fun for a while.
2 "How Big Is My Baby Now?"
Thanks to apps like the Baby Gaga Pregnancy Tracker, you can now keep a closer eye than ever on the growth of your baby. But even though you may wake up to an alert that your baby is now the size of a pineapple, you'd be the odd one out if you didn't still Google the estimated weight and length of your little bean. Never mind the impending appointment that will surely tell you just that - you need those answers now!
We all know that these are the appointments that we look forward to the most. As in, the ones that actually tell us something exciting and worthwhile. Sure, it's important to know the exact size of your belly now, along with your blood pressure and all of that.
You want to know what's happening every step of the way
But nothing beats the excitement and assurance of a real live sonogram. So until you can get your hands - er, belly? - on one, looking to Google for the answer to the size of your growing baby is what must be done.
No, these answers aren't always the end all be all of the most accurate scientific findings. But as expectant mama with pregnancy brain, what else are you to do? If you aren't obsessing over little one's progressing size, then you're wondering if his hair is indeed growing as he grows inside of you, or wondering how long his fingers are just yet.
So allow yourself to obsessively search. Isn't that what the internet is for anyway?
1 "Healthy Ways To Induce Labor"
As magical and amazing as pregnancy is, even the most Zen of expectant mothers can appreciate the need, at 41 weeks pregnant, to be done. Your baby has grown into a healthy size made for this world and at this point, you're more than ready to have your body back to yourself. Even if that does mean loaning out your breasts for milk.
Which brings you once again to good ole Google. Inducing your own labor at any point in your pregnancy is a bad idea and something to steer clear of, but some of the harmless results you'll likely come across are eating spicy foods, staying on your feet for long walks, or even sex. Which, let's face it, isn't a half bad technique.
Don't try to induce yourself with chemicals or concoctions
Creating and then carrying a whole new life is the very definition of a miracle, and consider yourself saintly enough for sharing your body with the little peanut for more than nine months. It is totally normal to want to take back your body at this point, and even more normal to be Googling what you can do.
But whether you are Googling tips to get you through your pregnancy or simply how to get fit once the little one finally is here, you are not alone in the need to look up every question and concern you may have. Anyway, like we said, you have pregnancy brain and everyone will give you a free pass to have your head in your phone.