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Pregnancy Books, Pamphlets, and Websites, Oh My!

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I know babies don’t come with instruction books but pregnancy sure does. Went to my first OB coordinator appointment and came home with enough literature to keep me busy for nine months. I came home with flyers and booklets on just about everything from genetic counseling and breastfeeding to shaken baby syndrome and post-partum depression.

The information, no matter where I find it…Baby Center, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, magazines, the backs of Tylenol and vitamin bottles, is all the same and yet I am just as compelled to read each one as if it were my first bit of information. I scour the pages of each source and hungrily eat up every word, however predictable they are.

My favorite thing to do each day is use the pregnancy tracker function of some of the websites I visit. What’s hilarious about the idea that I do this everyday is that the information only changes once a week when I hit my milestone. Fridays are the official beginning of a new week for me. This past Friday, for example, I was officially 6 weeks and 0 days pregnant. That means my trackers will roll over to the 6 week mark and I’ll get a whole new set of bodily symptoms and baby progress notes. What that also means is that on Monday, when I am six weeks and 3 days pregnant, the information will be the same as it was Friday. What a bummer!

To get over this downer and when I know my current week off by heart, I skip ahead to the next week. Since I’m officially 6 weeks pregnant, that means I’m in my 7th week so it’s OK to look at week 7 notes, right? I had some time in the car over the weekend so I took the opportunity to download some podcasts; I listened to Bonnie Petrie and Dr. Laurie Swaim talk about prenatal blood testing in the pregnancy week 7 podcast. Ah! Information delivered straight from the expert’s mouth — kind of like hearing if from your own doctor without the guilt that you’re taking up too much of her time.

If information is power, I’m in good shape. What’s that PSA say? “The more you know…” But when does information become too much? Is it at the point where you start to worry because the book said that by now you should feel exhausted and you’re not? Is it the point where the pamphlet tells you that at your first prenatal appointment you’ll have a pelvic exam and you stress out because your practitioner doesn’t do that? What about the point where you innocently scan a message board and can’t help but read the post about “No heartbeat”?

So this week, I come to the conclusion that information is like spicy food. In moderation, it’s fine. But too much is just going to cause heartburn.

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