Signs You Are Reading TOO Much during Pregnancy

pregnant woman has a rest at homePregnancy, especially a first pregnancy, is a time of discovery and wonder as you await the arrival of your new baby.  Most OBGYNs, pediatricians and other healthcare providers recommend that expectant moms read up on how to care for themselves during pregnancy and the basics of taking care of a baby as well.  There are numerous books and resources available on these topics.  However, some moms-to-be overdo it on their pregnancy homework and start having information overload.

If that sounds like you, here are a few signs to verify you are reading too much during pregnancy:

You are reading too much during pregnancy if…you have bought every book in the pregnancy, childbirth and parenting section of the book store.  The fact is, many of the books about having and raising babies are very similar.  That is because the medical information and advice surrounding these topics is relatively standard.  Selecting one or two books on the stages of pregnancy as your baby develops and one or two books on newborn/infant care should be enough.  Ask friends or read reviews for books so you know which ones will best meet your needs.  Some are written by doctors or nurses, others by experienced moms.  Find books that are informative but are also written in a tone and perspective that is relatable to you.

You are reading too much during pregnancy if…you constantly worry that every symptom, or lack of symptoms, means something is wrong with your baby.  Information is power, but too much information can cause panic.  Knowing common symptoms of pregnancy and some of woes you may be experiencing along the way is helpful, but if it causes you to panic all the time about every little detail of your health and that of your baby, you are overdoing it.  Not every faint moment means you have gestational diabetes.  Not every cramp means you are going into preterm labor.  Not every swollen toe means you have preeclampsia.  All expecting moms should be vigilant of major symptoms and talk to their physicians about them.  But it’s also important to relax and let your body and your baby do their jobs with as little stress as possible.

You are reading too much during pregnancy if…all you can talk about is pregnancy, childbirth and babies.  Nine months is a LONG time to be pregnant.  While you are making every effort to keep yourself and your baby in good health, life must go on.  You and those around you should not dwell on the impending baby at every moment.  Use the time before your baby arrives to enjoy things you may not get to do for awhile once you have a newborn.  Take your mind off of your baby for some period of time every day to ensure balance and a little mind break.

You are reading too much during pregnancy if…you tell your doctors and nurses how to do their jobs.  You have entrusted your healthcare professionals to take care of you and your baby during pregnancy.  If you are constantly calling or going into visits reciting information you’ve read, they will be agitated by your lack of trust and respect for their expertise.  If you have a concern, ask their opinion and listen to their advice.  Books and online resources cannot diagnose you as an individual because they aren’t looking at your holistic health as a patient.  But your OBGYN team is.  Let them do their jobs as they see fit without you playing backseat doctor.

You are reading too much during pregnancy if…you start to mix up your own experiences with those you’ve read about.  Beyond the technical books about pregnancy, childbirth and infant care, there are many whimsical books and blogs that look at the funny, odd and downright ridiculous side of these topics.  It’s great to read these resources as a lighter source of information and to know that you are not alone when you feel strange about what is happening to your body.  Plus, they may make you laugh when you really need it most.  However, when you’re blurring the lines between someone else’s reality and your own, you need to cut yourself off.

Happy reading…but not TOO much!