One would assume that because this is our second pregnancy, I’ve run out of things to research/google/obsess over. Well, you’d be wrong. Having a toddler means that all of the super pregnancy smarts and knowledge you gained the first time around have been replaced by songs about monkeys eating all of their vegetables (EVEN THE GREEN ONES). Sometimes I have a legitimate question, but most of the time I’m just googling things that come from random musings that dance across my semi-awake frontal lobe. I’ve found that there are three types of information available to pregs via Dr. Google: informative, hilarious and terrifying. And now I present…
Five Things to Avoid Googling While Pregnant (aka “How Not to Scare the Shit Out of Yourself”)
Is (insert favorite food item) safe to eat? Even if your favorite food is stupid kale, I can 110% guarantee you that somewhere on the vast internet, there is an article or blog post that will tell you said food is not only unsafe, but that even accidentally consuming .000001 ounces of the food will cause your baby to be born with the ability to speak only Swahili. We all know the primary foods to avoid eating (delicious things like sushi, all cold cuts [I MISS SALAMI SO MUCH], soft cheeses and fish high in mercury) but every once in a while, you’ll read a comment on some BabyCenter message board that will tell you to avoid things like soft serve ice cream (because OMG when was the last time the machine was taken apart and waaaashed?!) Really? A preg, avoiding soft serve ice cream? GTFO. If you like food, stay off the google engine.
Is (insert favorite activity) safe to do? Similar to avoiding all foods while preg, there are people who will tell you to avoid doing all things while preg. Listen, I’m more than happy to avoid doing things like folding laundry, cleaning up cat puke, and washing dishes, so if the Hypno Baby Wizard website tells me not to do those things, I can legit show my husband the documentation proving he is responsible for 90% more household chores right now. I know not to scoop the cat litter box and to avoid doing things like CrossFit (LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL), but did you also know you’re supposed to avoid things like warm showers, lifting objects over 15lbs and sleeping on your right side? Oh, you didn’t? Well you must not have made it to page 17 of the google search results; if you had, you’d know these important things. So, feel free to be smelly (because cold showers are dumb), never pick up your toddler/groceries/obese cat, and forget ever being comfortable while sleeping for the next 47 weeks.
What is this funny feeling in my upper/lower right/left abdomen? If you have a funny feeling, it’s probably gas. Oh, the pain is in your ribs? It’s still gas. Lower back pain? GAS. Pregs, you have a lot of gas, don’t try to ignore it. Set it free. If it’s not gas, then it’s probably your sweet little baby squeezing a precious and vital internal organ. Never, ever, ever google the words “feeling ____ while pregnant” because Dr. Google will tell you that you have something like West Nile Virus or Chinkungaya Disease, or that you were secretly abducted and probed by aliens during the night and GUESS WHAT, NOW YOU’RE HAVING TWINS! You probably ate soft serve ice cream while laying on your right side, right? That explains everything.
Images of anything, ever. When I announced our second pregnancy, an acquaintance immediately asked if knew I was preg before taking the test. Before I could answer, she said I must have known, and it was probably my nipples that gave it away. Really? My nipples? Would pregnancy give them the ability to speak? I wasn’t exactly sure what she meant, because I’d been pregnant before and my nipples didn’t hold the secret baby knowledge. So I decided to google what she meant and OH MY GOSH, I regret that. Do you know what happens when you google things like “pregnant nipples”? You’ll be scarred for life, because only the worst and most frightening things that could ever happen to nipples will show up in google images. And former pregs who did have nipples that looked like space saucers preparing for landing, I am so sorry. SO SORRY.
Things like “sex while pregnant.” Pregs can totally still do it (no, the baby won’t get poked in the head), but sometimes you have to get creative because after a few months, there’s an enormous watermelon between you and your partner. You should be very careful in your google phrasing; WebMD has good articles with suggestions and tips, and what’s normal (i.e. “tingling sensation in my left third rib”) but if you don’t quantify your search with something like “pregnant sex webmd article” well, you’re going to find out there are a lot of weirdos out there. A LOT. It’s more frightening than the space saucer nipples. It will also probably get your name added to some Federal list. Oops.
Pregs, if you want to enjoy your 40ish weeks of growing life and eating cheese fries covered in Nutella, then stay off the google engine. As long as you aren’t bungee jumping while smoking a pack of American Spirits and eating raw chicken, you’re probably doing just fine. Common sense tells you what is and isn’t safe, and for those questionable things, your midwife or OB will give you a list – a physician approved list – of things you should avoid eating and doing. Follow that list and your gut, and you’ll be fine. Particularly follow your gut if it’s telling you the baby needs brownies. Chocolate boosts mental stamina.
And as a reminder, I’ll just leave this right here: