Have you ever been worried about something, had a weird symptom and wondered what was wrong, or tried to prepare yourself to be the best parent possible?…and decided to Google it? Did it help or make you more worried?

I discovered the dangers of Google while I was trying to get pregnant. I’d search for information about conception, Google weird symptoms I was having, read about the signs of pregnancy. I could pretty much look up anything and it would tell me that I either a) had a serious illness or was infertile, or b) I was pregnant. There were actually a couple of times that I convinced myself I was pregnant (even though I knew I wasn’t) just by searching on Google. Did you know that pretty much any physical symptom you have could mean that you’re pregnant?

I learned my lesson. I stopped googling these types of things.

Then I got pregnant. Wow! Google held a vast amount of information regarding how I should now behave as an expectant mother. No soft cheese, no deli meats (or heat until they are steaming hot in the microwave – seriously, who does this?), stand on the opposite side of the room when the microwave is on, no wine, no hot tubs, no lying on my back, pump myself full of prenatal vitamins, no cell phones near the baby bump, no snowboarding, etc.

Holy moly! According to Google, I wasn’t supposed to do anything while I was pregnant and I should have lived in constant fear that my baby might die. I also learned that every pregnancy symptom was the fault of hormones. Knowing this was no help to me whatsoever.

I learned my lesson. I stopped googling these types of things.

Then my baby arrived. There was so much newness and unfamiliar baby things to learn about. And what do you know? Google had all of the answers! Don’t co-sleep – your baby might die. Don’t let babies sleep on their stomachs – your baby might die. Introduce solids slowly – your baby might die. Don’t feed baby honey before age 1 – your baby might die. Don’t leave your baby unattended for even a second or it might die.

Apparently having a child means living in fear for the rest of our lives.

I learned my lesson (again). I stopped googling these types of things.

But have you ever noticed how great Google is? You can find any information you are looking for, including the exact opposite of all of the “rules” I just mentioned.

A glass of wine once in a while is ok while pregnant. You can eat soft cheeses as long as they are pasteurized. Unpasteurized milk is safer than pasteurized milk. Co-sleeping can help prevent SIDS. Not everything is chalked up to hormones therefore your symptoms can get better. Most babies don’t have food allergies. 0.0025% of babies get botulism in the USA and most are caused by dirt/dust, not from eating honey.

While I’m not advocating for drinking while pregnant or pumping your baby full of honey, I am suggesting that Google searches can give you whatever information you are looking for – good or bad.

Sometimes, I swear I’ll search one thing and find a pile of information that fills me with anxiety and then I’ll search the exact same thing later once I have calmed down and it gives me completely different search results. It’s like Google knows how I’m feeling!

Beware of Google when you are upset. Calm down first and then search if you still feel the need to. And think carefully before searching because Google always gives you what you’re looking for. Simply decide in advance what you’re looking for. And remember, 99% of facts are just people’s opinions! You get to decide what you believe.