Some of us like to fly by the seat of our pants. Some of us like to research and plan out every detail of our lives.
Whichever category you fall into, there’s one thing we can all agree on: the struggle is real when it comes to pregnancy information overload!
You can’t eat this, you can’t wear that, you can’t travel there, and you definitely can’t drink that.
There are strollers, car seat safety tests, inductions, epidurals, breast pumps, mommy groups, prenatal fitness, pacifiers, and they each demand that you read exactly five books and eighteen blog posts and twenty-four peer-reviewed studies about them.
Oh, and did we mention that everyone you come across, from your friends to your great-aunt Sally, to the man behind you in the grocery checkout line, has an opinion or advice to offer about your pregnancy?
All the research, advice, and opinions you have to pack into nine months can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing, rather than comforting. So what are some ways to avoid pregnancy information overload?
Choose Your Favorite Information Sources and Stick to Them
You don’t have to keep a thousand tabs open. If you find yourself going back to the same few pregnancy and baby-related information sources to get your research on, that is perfectly fine. The American Pregnancy website, Evidence Based Birth, and Penny Simkin’s book “Pregnancy, Childbirth & the Newborn” are some of the most widely used, thorough, and up-to-date sources of pregnancy information.
Realize You Don’t Have to Know Everything
If you want to know everything there is to know about pregnancy and birth, knock yourself out! If not, that’s okay too. You can listen to your instincts, ask questions at your doctor’s appointments, and cross bridges when you come to them. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re not as good of a parent because you haven’t cross-referenced the entire Cochrane review website contents.
Utilize a Birth and/or Postpartum Doula
A doula is like a walking baby Wikipedia whom you have access to practically 24/7. During pregnancy, you can ask them if you have a question or concern. Your doula can either answer the question, point you toward a reliable source of reading material, or let you know if your issue is something that needs to be addressed by a physician. During postpartum? Same thing, but your doula is actually in your home with you for constant guidance and support!
Avoid Social Media Mom Groups and Comment Sections
One of the most unreliable sources of evidence-based, solid pregnancy information is the ubiquitous Facebook mom group. One minute, you think you’re asking for advice about breastfeeding, and the next? WORLD WAR 3 IS ON! Stick to asking where the nearest playgroup or resale shop is, and save the questions about epidurals and circumcision for your doula and midwife or physician.
Stay in Your Advice-and-Opinions Bubble
It’s not that they want to scare you (usually). But for some reason, pregnant women are like magnetic targets for horrific stories of negative birth outcomes, surgery fails, and ten-month pregnancies. Do not feel embarrassed about muting someone on your phone, or asking a relative or coworker to refrain from sharing tales that will make you feel anxious or worried about pregnancy and birth.
You’re going to get through this. Listen to your gut, trust your instincts, keep open communication with your OB-GYN or midwife, and research in a couple trusted sources when you feel the need. As much as is possible, enjoy the ride and make some memories while waiting to meet your baby!
Are you looking for a doula in Denver, Colorado Springs, or other surrounding Colorado areas to help you boil down the most helpful pregnancy information? Hit the “contact” tab above and let’s get in touch!