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Step Away from the Google Search: A Guide to Health Sites You Can Trust

August 24, 2012

From the moment you see the plus sign on that home pregnancy test to the time your child graduates from high school, most moms become sponges for medical information. I’m not experiencing morning sickness; is that normal? My doctor wants to do an amniocentesis; what does that involve? My baby has a cough that won’t go away! My child isn’t walking yet!

Whether these questions strike late at night or while you’re on a conference call at work, you might be tempted, instead of calling your physician or pediatrician, to Google. The trouble with this little habit is that in addition to supplying you with good information, Google also subjects you to the opinions, dialogues, and worries of other non-experts like yourself, who are often taking to the internet in an anxious and misinformed state. Instead of trusting the “information” you find on discussion boards and the comments sections of poorly written articles, try to rely only on a few trustworthy sites for information.

During pregnancy, a terrific resource whenever you have questions or just need clarity on terms you’ve heard from your doctor, friends, or family, visit The American Pregnancy Association’s website. They have information for women who are trying to conceive and women who are pregnant, including a weekly pregnancy calendar. The U.S. Department of Health has an excellent website devoted to women’s health issues which can be very useful as well.

And when it’s your child’s health issue that’s causing you to worry, The American Association of Pediatrics hosts an excellent website for parents with information on breastfeeding, immunizations, and current events related to parenting and health. The Centers for Disease Control is also like an online encyclopedia of medical information that is sure to give you accurate information instead of conjecture or rhetoric.

But remember, the advice of your ob/gyn or your pediatrician is always preferable to scouting out information on your own. If there is a medical issue that you’e seriously concerned about, make the call to your doctor and put your worries to rest.

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