Whether you're expecting or have a new baby in your life, the internet can be a deceptively unhelpful resource. We're the most educated, informed generation on earth with access to facts, statistics, and internet flotsam, and while this can be beneficial in certain circumstances, it can also be overwhelming, confusing, and scary.
Dr. Google is not your friend.
Let me first say, I do this all the time. I google all sorts of crazy things all the time, including things I think might be wrong with me or my birds. It almost never brings me peace, usually always consumes hours of my time, and frequently leaves me feeling rather silly if I land in my doctor's office because the burst blood vessel in my eye is, “probably from looking at a computer screen for too long.”
So where do you go when you have questions and are not certain where to find the answers? First, I recommend your provider. If you're pregnant, your doula can often be a good resource for information. If you've taken an independent childbirth class, you can often email the instructor and they'll get back with you more quickly than your doctor's office, even if you're six months postpartum. And what about your prenatal yoga or belly dance class? These can be good starting points.
If all of those resources are unavailable, I recommend the following sites for good, reputable information.
Evidence-Based Birth: if you're trying to make sense of whether or not to start an induction, this can be a helpful resource that compiles the most recent scientific evidence and clearly states the difference between standard of practice (what people do because that's what everyone does), evidence-based practice (what scientific studies suggest are best practices), and opinion.
La Leche League: this site is well developed and crosses many cultures and scientific/regulatory agencies. It isn't posted by someone with a financial interest, but by a group that believes that breastfeeding is best. You can usually find tips on things like solid foods, fussy babies, and even a few things about pregnancy on their site.
The Mayo Clinic: written for consumers rather than providers, this site can help you understand your concerns in plain English. It borders on Dr. Google, but is at least fairly reputable.
Message boards, social media, and groups are fantastic for planning outings, learning baby-friendly recipes, deciding where to vacation with your baby this year. I've seen so many mamas needlessly upset or worried because of medical advice they received from an unnamed source, or casual commentary that wasn't explained well.
Need other resources? We are always reading and sharing great information on our Facebook page. And if you're up for some more academic reading, we can usually offer you a pointer or two or can help find someone who can.
Written by Kari Kwinn, ERYT, RPYT, and Enso co-owner.
This blog is not intended to be a source of medical information or advice. Please discuss all of your concerns with your care provider.