Beware of cyberchondria (aka why new moms should stay away from Google)

Inspired by this prompt

Whenever I have a question about something, the first place I turn is to Google.  T likes to make fun of me for it sometimes, citing this commercial as an example.  All he has to do is say “bonjour” and I know that I may have gotten a little crazy in my “Google-ing”

Being a first time mommy, everything I have experienced with B thus far is new to me.  And whenever he has an odd looking rash or is acting off, I am often tempted to run to Google to tell me what is wrong.  I know other moms out there have all done this (especially when it’s 3am and you’re running on little sleep and you’re paranoid that something is wrong).

Well, don’t.

First, this can lead to cyberchondria and you don’t want to be any more paranoid than you already are as a new mom.

Second, trust your mommy instincts, because 9 times out of 10 they are right, even if you feel like you are just being paranoid.

Third, call your pediatrician.  If you have a question about something, don’t be afraid to leave a message with their nurse.  That’s their job and that’s what they are there for.  Also, a lot of hospitals have a pediatric nurse line that you can call after hours (I’ve made that phone call at 3am before when B had croup around 3 months old).

Whatever you do, don’t go Google-ing the symptoms, because there are a lot of scary pictures out there and bizarre diagnoses.  And, please, don’t go to online message boards when you are dealing with a potential health issue- I am a big fan of BabyCenter, but it drives me nuts when I see people posting serious medical questions on there before consulting their pediatricians- speculating moms online are just about as bad as the internets.


Edited to add:  Jessica from Pig and Dac brought up some good alternatives to good ole Google in the comments, so I thought I would list them here. and are both great resources for new parents.  Just remember they don’t take the place of your pediatrician!!



4 thoughts on “Beware of cyberchondria (aka why new moms should stay away from Google)

  1. I completely stay away from GOOGLE. I learned this grave mistake when I wasn’t feel well. Needless to say a simple google of symptoms made me feel like I needed to go to the ER asap. Well I found out that it was just a sinus infection. (My heart could finally leave my throat)

    I decided to google again (when would I learn) when little one wasn’t feeling good. Take about A PANIC ATTACK! I vowed NEVER to google any sickness…..ever…unless I wanted to admit myself to a mental institution. Google will scare the daylights outta you!


  2. Google is a NO-NO! I’ve actually almost believed my son had some form of rare retardation when I was so worried sick over why he was doing this weird thing with his eyes….I’m not joking. If I’m going to do an internet search for symptoms, I prefer to go a site like or, sites like that instead of google. Google will bring up a whole host of weird websites and answers that have nothing to do with what your child has! Great advice!


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