Are you expecting your first child? Maybe you’re a new Mum/Dad? Either way, I bet you’ve already made Google a hell of a lot of money with all the searches you’ve done about your pregnancy and baby. I sure as F did. I can almost guarantee that if you’re a Dad-to-be/Dad reading this, your lady has Googled more times than she has cried about the chocolate she dropped on the floor last week… A lot. Maybe you don’t Google shit. Cudos to you if that’s the case. But for me, Google became my BFF the moment I saw that positive pregnancy test. Let me give you a wee example…
I’ve gained 10 kilo’s already… Is this normal?
I had an intense desire to eat a mashed potato sandwich today, and the thought of not having one made me cry… Is this normal?
My baby hasn’t kicked all day… Is this normal?
I have changed the furniture around in our home seven times this week… Is this normal?
I peed myself a little today… Is this normal? (that totally didn’t happen to me…. I swear)
Don’t even get me started on the shit I was googling when Taylor was born… (Let’s just say I never expected to be browsing images of poo to find out whether or not my daughters was normal).
One thing I very quickly learned after we had Taylor, is that there is no textbook answer to all these questions. Every baby is different, and there is no yes/no wrong/right answer to a lot of what we new Mum’s/Dad’s ask ourselves (wouldn’t it be nice if there were!!). Yah. You’ve probably been told this a zillion times from your Midwife, Paediatrician, GP, parents, brothers sisters uncle etc, and soz, but it’s true. And you wanna know what else is true? Googling shit all the time is unhealthy. There. I said it.
When Taylor was first born, we had a few little hiccups. We were told firstly that she had tongue tie. WTF is tongue tie, you ask? Google it (HA, typical me recommending you Google it despite being here to tell you not to Google shit!!) This meant Taylor couldn’t quite latch on to breastfeed. This made Mumma stress because in her mind, she’d latch on the moment she was born like you see all those Insta Mum’s daughters do. Because of social media and Google, I thought that was the norm. But it’s not. Even if Taylor didn’t have tongue tie causing her issues with latching, there are so many other things that can cause issues with breastfeeding. The best way to find out about them? Speak to your GP or Midwife. DO. NOT. GOOGLE.
The second obstacle we faced was Taylor’s jaundice. Now, these issues are small things I know. But when you’re a first-time parent and these things come up and then you Google them to find out more, you can very quickly become freaked-the-eff-out. I remember looking at Taylor when she was only a few days old and thinking to myself that she looked like she’d had a really bad spray tan. She was orange. Justin and I decided to ring our Midwife to see if this was normal. We were told it could just be a little jaundice and not to worry, but that she’d pop in to do a little heel prick and check her levels. So what did I do in between the Midwife arriving and taking the blood test? I googled. Google does say some factual things, don’t get me wrong. But it also brings up articles with a lot of inaccurate information. And even worse, it talks about the more serious risks of things which probably shouldn’t be put in your head at all. When I Googled jaundice (and because I didn’t know much or anything actually about jaundice) I started to think our daughter had a severe case and stressed right out. It turned out that her levels were high, but they ended up going down without the need for any Phototherapy and that was that. She was fine. The stress I endured as a direct result of Googling was both intense and completely unnecessary.
Then there was her weight gain. As a result of her not latching on properly (which was a result of her tongue tie), Taylor wasn’t gaining great weight. Then there was a huge rash on her neck, chest and near her ears. THEN I found a lump on the left side of her neck. What do you think is going to come up if you ask Google about a lump on your newborn child? Yah. I got the tumor information, cancer information – I got it all. I was beside myself. There was nothing Justin could say to make me feel better. We took her in to have it checked the next day (because following my immediate call to the Midwife and her assessment of a photo I sent via text, it was something that could wait until tomorrow) and it turned out to be Torticollis which with a bit of physio, goes away. Again, here I was thinking the worst. Our daughter was fine and I had literally nothing to worry about.
My point is, Google can be great if you need to know what beer is on special or what time the pizza shop delivers until (and for way more stuff than this obviously, but for the sake of a concise post, I won’t elaborate on the boring crap), but when it comes to important stuff like the health of yourself and/or your baby, just put the phone/laptop/computer/tablet down and ring your Midwife or call the damn GP.
Save yourself the stress, because becoming a new parent is challenging (and wonderful and incredibly special) and worrying about anything other than loving your baby and taking care of him/her to the best of your ability is a waste of time. Don’t forget also, that as an expecting or new Mum, your baby feels/senses your emotions. If you’re stressed, your baby knows it. They’re clever little cupcakes, those babes.
I am entirely aware that this will not stop anyone from Googling shit and that you’ve probably already Googled to fact-check if your baby does in fact feel/sense your emotions, but hey, if it stops you from Googling even once or twice then my work here is done.
Disclaimer* I love Google and as a uni student rely on it heavily… So Google, please don’t take this post personally and like, boot me off having access or anything…