Being pregnant

My favourite online pregnancy resources

Cara shares her favourite Internet pregnancy resources—and wonders where other moms-to-be are going for information.

My What To Expect Pregnancy Tracker app.

Last week, I blogged about how I stay in touch with people mostly online. The same thing goes for looking up pregnancy info: With a partner who works long hours and a variety of things that keep me housebound, I have to rely on the Internet to get information.
 
Apps
Two apps provide me with daily and weekly updates as well as visuals of how my baby is growing. There are also checklists: At first, I thought the action items were a bit cheesy (Make yourself a pregnancy cocktail! Pamper yourself with a facial!) But after a while, the tone becomes infectious. Sometimes, you need that relentless positivity to keep you going. Here’s why I have both apps instead of just one:

What to Expect Pregnancy Tracker
When I worked for Today’s Parent, Laura Grande was responsible for uploading the photos of fruit and vegetables to denote the size of the baby at various stages of pregnancy.

I’ll admit that at the time, I found these images humorous.

But now, I’m guilty of sending emails to my extended family that begin like this: “This week, the baby is the size of a butternut squash.” When I communicate with my partner’s family, they get the same message in French: “Cette semaine, le bébé est la taille d’une courge musquée.” (As a result, my vocabulary when it comes to fruit and vegetables has increased tenfold.)

Babycenter.com My Pregnancy
It seems like every other day I discover a food that I can’t eat. This app includes a lot of nutritional information. It makes me feel like I have a little bit more control over my eating habits.

Websites/Newsletters
Todaysparent.com
Sure, it sounds like a shameless plug, but what I liked about TP.com even before I became pregnant was that they focused on dispensing info rather than judgment.

The cult of motherhood can be a scary thing, but TP.com has a practical and light-hearted tone to their content, whether they’re sharing 27 comfort food recipes, the top 100 baby names or the 10 most common things kids stick up their nose. It makes pregnancy and motherhood seem more manageable — no small feat when I’m feeling isolated.

I’m also a fan of their blogs: Bouncing Back, Celebrity Candy and Special-needs parenting and I receive their newsletter. (I repeat: this is not propaganda, just my humble opinion!)

More newsletters
Babycenter.com
The content of their weekly email is usually informative, although the accompanying links can be absolutely terrifying. (I’ve come to think of these links as my weekly heart attack.)

Case in point: Yesterday’s newsletter had links to articles entitled “6 signs of premature labour” and “Symptoms you should never ignore”. (If that doesn’t put the fear of God in you, nothing will.)

Still, it does have a wealth of information; I just have to resist clicking on the links that might keep me up nights.

E-books
I always swore that I would never buy books online, but when you’re in a place where shipping books isn’t worth the effort, they can be a godsend. I’ve purchased the following e-books, which I read on my iPhone (in a related note: I think I’m going blind):

My favourite online purchase is Ann Douglas’ The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. She’s like the fairy godmother of pregnancy — soothing, candid, benevolent. I also like that the book is geared towards Canadian mothers-to-be — it makes me feel more connected to the country I left behind. (The Mother of All Baby Books is also sitting on my virtual bookshelf, but I’m saving it for later.)

I also purchased another book on parenting, mostly out of curiosity: Alyson Schafer’s Breaking the Good Mom Myth: Every Modern Mom’s Guide to Getting Past Perfection, Regaining Sanity and Raising Great Kids. With a 19-word title, you know Ms. Schafer is not going to leave any stone unturned, with chapters on “Throwing off the Shackles of Dependence” to “What to do when you and your partner parent differently”. The most important thing I took away was that you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of your family. (Easier said than done, I’m sure.)

A final confession
When I was in London (where the Internet was magically fast), I couldn’t resist downloading the movie What To Expect When You’re Expecting — even though it only had a 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was chock-full of rom-com clichés, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, bawling through even the most trite and contrived scenes.

Did it prepare me for motherhood? Not really. But it did inject some humour in the various stages of pregnancy.

When you were pregnant, what did you go online for information?