Okay, let’s talk about our love-hate relationship with the internet. There are times it can be our best friend, chalk-full of helpful information, from how to get a stain out of your carpet to how to change a tire. However, other times it can be filled with conjecture and assumptions and theories based entirely on the experience of one or two people, in this way, if we are not careful, the internet can turn us fearful and paranoid.
This is why it isimportant to make sure you use the internet correctly, especially when you are pregnant or just had a baby. Understandably, this is a stressful time, pregnancy and parenthood can be a beautiful and wonderful experience but it’s also easy to get scared, when you consider this little life that is depending on you. So often, this is where the internet can feed our worst fears.
You know that moment, when you experience abdominal pain and your first instinct is to race to the internet only to find horror stories of women describing your exact pain who have experience miscarriages, complications and ectopic pregnancies. You start to believe that that could be the problem, even if you find information that assures that cramping often occurs during pregnancy it does little to alleviate your fears.
You read a certain food is not recommended during pregnancy and then panic because you recall, maybe, having eaten it at some point without knowing the risks. And while it’s okay to be overly careful and cautious with your child, this kind of fear and worry can cause undue stress on your physical and mental state.
So how can you use the internet to help make your pregnancy a more enjoyable time?
- Check the source- obviously bad information can get in anywhere, however checking the credentials of the website will help weed out a lot of bad information. For example, Yahoo Answers will not be as reliable as a website devoted to pregnancy
- Do NOT get your medical advice from a forum- forum’s can be useful, you can find out how other mom’s deal with morning sickness, or good exercise routines, or good deals on baby stuff. But the problem with seeking medical advice is that it will be based on the experience of a few women, and it may not be normative.
- Doctor’s advice trumps internet- your doctor knows YOU, he knows your baby and your pregnancy so 99% of the time his advice is going to be more reliable
- Doing your own research is fine, but in general take most of the things you read on the intern with a grain of salt. Check it with some more scholarly research or a book.
- Remember, your body knows what it’s doing when it comes to pregnancy, if something doesn’t feel right call your doctor or a pregnancy helpline BEFORE being overwhelmed by all the different opinions and experiences you’ll find on the internet.