Mums-to-be are turning to Dr Google for pregnancy advice

Marie Claire Dorking
·4-min read
More than three quarters of pregnant women turn to Dr Google for advice. (Getty Images)
More than three quarters of pregnant women turn to Dr Google for advice. (Getty Images)

Mums-to-be are turning to Dr Google for pregnancy advice as they receive so much conflicting information, a new study has found.

Pregnancy can be a confusing time for many women and while many may previously have called on their mothers for the answers to common pregnancy-related questions, new research has found more than three quarters now head straight online.

The study of 2,000 women, by Vitabiotics Pregnacare vitamins, revealed that 78% turn to Google to solve their pregnancy queries, which range from ‘where can you buy maternity clothes?’, to ‘how much weight should you put on during pregnancy?’.

Other common searches for mums-to-be include ‘what vitamins and minerals are important to consume during pregnancy?', ‘how long does morning sickness last?’ and ‘how much folic acid do you need?’

More than half (56%) of the expectant mums polled believe they Googled more questions than they asked in ‘real life’, with 67% saying the internet was their lifeline as they felt able to ask questions they were otherwise too embarrassed to pose.

Read more: You're more likely to get pregnant if your work colleagues already are, study finds

And 17% of pregnant women said they looked to the mums of social media for answers and information.

After the Internet, which a fifth believe to be a reliable source for information, mums-to-be turned to their midwife for advice, with 51% asking the healthcare professionals for pregnancy advice, while 34% still ask their own mums for insight.

The typical mum-to-be heading online for answers will ask four different questions every day while they’re expecting, which adds up to more than 1,000 in total.

The most common question is ‘baby name ideas?’, followed by ‘how big is the baby?’.

But worryingly, more than three quarters (78%) said they have received conflicting answers, with 15% saying the advice was ‘extremely different’.

The study also found 63% of women found pregnancy to be a turbulent time, with 87% brimming with unanswered questions.

Women are heading online for pregnancy advice. (Getty Images)
Women are heading online for pregnancy advice. (Getty Images)

Read more: The top list of baby names that parents regret

Commenting on the findings a spokesperson for Vitabiotics Pregnacare said: “Pregnancy is an exciting time but can also be a worrying period, especially when it is your first and you are experiencing everything for the first time.

“But having the internet at the touch of our fingertips now can mean we can easily search for different answers we might need, however strange the question may seem, so it’s vital to ensure the source of advice is authoritative and trustworthy.

“There is so much to take in while you are expecting, even for those who may have been pregnant before, as no two pregnancies are the same and advice can change over time as well.

“Whether it’s looking for ideas on what to call your baby or questions about what food and supplements you should be eating, there is no such thing as a silly question when you are pregnant.”

Read more: Millie Mackintosh shares postpartum body photo

Top 10 questions searched for on Google during pregnancy:

1. Baby name ideas?
2. How big is the baby now?
3. Where can you buy maternity clothes?
4. How much weight should you put on during pregnancy?
5. Can you take paracetamol when pregnant?
6. What foods should you eat more of during pregnancy?
7. Morning sickness remedies
8. What do mild pains during pregnancy mean?
9. What vitamins and minerals are important to consume during pregnancy?
10. What supplements should you take during pregnancy?
11. What causes back pain in pregnancy?
12. How long does morning sickness last?
13. What will the baby look like now?
14. Why do you feel so tired?
15. Is it okay to eat peanut butter / fish / cheese?
16. How much folic acid do you need to have?
17. How can you get a good night's sleep?
18. When do you start to show during pregnancy?
19. Is bleeding during pregnancy OK?
20. How can you tell how far along you are?