With pregnancy comes a wide array of emotions that ebb and flow throughout those long 40 (or so) weeks before you give birth. Most expectant parents have lots of questions, get oh-so-much unsolicited advice, and sometimes feel super anxious over the many dos and don’ts, strange symptoms, and nagging "is this normal?" feelings.
With pregnancy being difficult to navigate, especially for first-time parents, plus all those swirling emotions, Google can quickly turn from a helpful friend to a downright enemy. After all, the internet can be a scary place filled with unreliable information and alarmist message boards if you don't know where to look.
To help, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite websites all expectant parents should know about. From general advice and milestone tracking to shopping tips and beyond, we recommend bookmarking these six sites to avoid a future Google spiral!
1. What to Expect
Having evolved from What to Expect When You're Expecting, the trusty book that many of our moms relied on throughout their own pregnancies, the offshoot What to Expect website offers week-by-week tracking, expert advice, and articles on all things pregnancy-related. The site, which also offers pre-conception tools, tips, and information, goes well beyond pregnancy and giving birth. Covering topics from breastfeeding to developmental milestones, discipline, and potty training, you can rely on this site well after the baby comes for crucial childcare and parenting information.
2. Mother to Baby
It's common for expectant parents to worry about what a mother (and the baby!) is exposed to during pregnancy—whether that's in the form of chemicals from household products or longtime medications. Ever wish you had experts on hand that could help clarify any exposure questions you may have? Well, now you do. A service of the non-profit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS), Mother to Baby provides access to evidence-based information with experts available to answer your questions via email, chat, text, and phone. Doctors often refer expectant parents to this site and the helpful fact sheets help to answer some of the frequently asked questions about exposures during both pregnancy and breastfeeding. Keep this site handy for any questions regarding cleaning products, manicures, medicines, and more!
3. Evidence Based Birth
In the world of pregnancy, truth and evidence matter most. Enter Evidence Based Birth, a site created by Rebecca Dekker, Ph.D., who is also a mother and nurse researcher. The site, whose manifesto includes the belief that everyone has the right to the highest standard of childbirth care, presents non-biased, evidence-based information. With plentiful resources for both parents and professionals, the site's blog also curates information on hot topics such as the uses of massage and hypnosis for pain relief during labor, everything to know about fetal monitoring, guides to epidurals, and so much more.
More than just a handy app to track your pregnancy milestones, the full BabyCenter website offers videos, information, and “birth clubs,” as well as solid parenting advice. Make use of the site's fun features including the Baby Names Finder, Baby Registry Checklists, and the Baby Costs Calculator to help you prepare for what's to come. The site's Expert Advice and Community pages also offer both insights from medical professionals as well as message boards and communities for parents-to-be to share concerns, fears, support, and experiences. Think of it as a coffee club for pregnancy, without having to leave your couch.
5. Pulling Curls
Some things just can’t—and shouldn’t—be entrusted to a simple Google search and prenatal classes are certainly one of them. Pulling Curls, created by a labor and delivery nurse who is ACLS, NRP, and AWHONN fetal monitoring certified, offers online prenatal classes for couples to learn how to prepare for delivery and what to expect during labor. You can be sure that the classes are presented by a qualified professional (with three children of her own!) and will fit into your busy schedule.
Even though maternity fashion has come quite a long way in the last few years, it’s still no fun to shell out tons of money for clothing you know you’ll only need over a few months. Thankfully, you can shop at ThredUP for a fraction of retail prices. Calling itself “not your typical thrift store,” the service is an online secondhand shopping destination with a special section dedicated to maternity. The best part is you can also sell (or donate) your maternity clothes post-delivery and make back some of your hard-earned cash. When you're ready to part with your elastic waistbands and flowy tops, you can rest assured they’re on their way to a good home, and you’ll have some cash back in your wallet.