Once you get that positive pregnancy test result, you’ll find yourself wanting answers to many questions. If you are a first-time mom, you’ll be even more curious about what to expect, not only with regard to your baby, but also the things coming your way as part of pregnancy.
Nowadays, there’s a staggering amount of information available due to the progress of technology. You can find almost any information you need with a mere click of a button. Moreover, you will definitely get unsolicited advice from everyone in your circle. Caught in this situation, you will undoubtedly find yourself with too much information to handle. More often than not, confusion will become your companion along with your raging pregnancy hormones.
The pregnancy information overload
I remember being diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my pregnancies. Although I’m well-informed about diabetes because it runs in the family, I didn’t know much about gestational diabetes. I needed more information about my condition and how I should be dealing with it to stay healthy, so I actively searched the internet. Not only did I read different websites, but I also joined groups and forums to get a first-hand account from other pregnant women with similar experiences.
However, when I needed a certain piece of information on managing gestational diabetes, there was just too much online. Mind you, that was on top of the books I was reading and the advice I was getting from my circle of friends. I truly felt overwhelmed and confused.
Pregnancy information overload is unavoidable when you’re looking for explanations and advice that could help you in your condition. With tons of information out there, you’re bound to question what rules or suggestions you should follow. Typically, you will be left with too many answers to choose from.
Signs of pregnancy information overload
Pregnancy information will boost your confidence during this wonderful journey, but what if it’s so much that things get out of hand? Here are some signs you might be experiencing information overload:
- You become confused about the different versions you are getting. With everything found on the internet plus the pregnancy books available, you’ll most likely encounter differing opinions on a particular concern of yours.
- You become so overwhelmed by the information available that it starts causing you stress and anxiety. Consider a question like why you have to go to the bathroom more often when you are pregnant. While it is very normal, you can definitely see some other causes (such as a urinary tract infection or even kidney infection) if you begin searching for answers on the internet.
It’s always good to have plenty of the information you need, but keep in mind that this could also pose some health risk if managing information overload during pregnancy takes the back seat. The truth is that too much information from various sources can tempt you to rely on it instead of asking directly your ob-gyn or other maternal medical practitioners. If this happens, you won’t be getting the proper medical care you need. The most important thing to remember is that pregnancy information overload does more harm than good to your mental health during pregnancy.
Tips on avoiding information overload
If you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you will definitely need to do some research, so how do you know if you’re in danger of suffering information overload? Here are some tips for keeping things in check.
Filter unsolicited advice. Prepare to get some unwanted pregnancy advice from almost everyone around you. They will all have something to say about your pregnancy, be it in comments on your morning sickness, your choice of pain management during childbirth, and even the baby name you have chosen. However, remember that you have the power to decide what advice to take and what to discard.
Just go with the (pregnancy) flow. You’ll understandably want everything to go smoothly during your pregnancy. The information you collect can be helpful and overwhelming at the same time. It’s always good to know what steps to take when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, but remember that it’s something natural, and sometimes things don’t go according to plan.
Use trusted sources of information. It’s wise to get your information from reliable and trusted sources. After all, it’s your health and that of your unborn baby on the line. Also, since what you’re looking into concerns your health, the information should be backed by reliable scientific research and evidence. Among the different sources that you can definitely trust are:
- Websites of reputable health and medical organizations, which include published medical research from the likes of the WHO, CDC, and the AJOG.
- Established parenting websites and parenting blogs—not only are they interesting and easy to read, but they place great value on scientific research and also share personal experiences.
- Advice coming from your ob-gyn and other medical practitioners, such as your midwife, maternal nurses, doulas, and lactation consultants.
- Books, gazettes, and papers—I happen to prefer real books and papers over digital ones, but whatever your preference, make sure that the contents have been updated before you decide to read them.
- The people within your circle—it can be your mother, a sister with children, or a girlfriend who have gone through pregnancy and childbirth.
Knowledge is power, and with all the information readily available to answer your every pregnancy question, information overload is practically unavoidable. The trick is to always look for balanced answers that will help alleviate your pregnancy fears instead of adding to them. It’s best if you always talk to your ob-gyn about anything that relates to your health and that of your unborn child. Remember that they are the best resources you can have in the upcoming chapter of your life called parenthood.