Parents top most Googled parenting questions are so relatable

We’ve all become just slightly dependent on our phones these days, from the recipes we use to the clothes we buy and even for our parenting questions! You are not alone; a new study is showing that every parent turns to Google in times of need, for issues big and small.

person typing on gray and black HP laptop

A new research project by parenting network Mas & Pas has revealed the burning questions that parents search for the most when it comes to pregnancy and looking after their children. They analysed the data and all of the questions in its community forum to uncover the top topics than mums and dads want answers to. No surprise the top three topics were:

Pregnancy

Sleep

Potty training

Mums-to-be are most desperate to know whether they'll poop during labour (the answer: probably!), and how to prepare for giving birth. And the questions don’t just stop at pregnancy. Many parents turn to Google for help with milestones and development of their child beyond the initial birth.

Side view of crop serious Asian lady in casual wear sitting at table with cup of beverage and browsing netbook against big glass window on sunny day

The top question sin each category are:

1. Pregnancy

Popular questions include...

Will you poop during labour?

Is natural birth painful?

Why do doctors tell you not to push during labour?

What does giving birth feel like?

Is C section giving birth?

What's the 5 1 1 rule for contractions?

What are the disadvantages of a hospital birth?

Should I shave before giving birth?

Do they shave you before giving birth?

2. Baby sleep

Popular questions include...

How do I teach my baby to self soothe?

How long should babies sleep?

How do you get a baby to stop fighting sleep?

Why you should never wake a sleeping baby?

Why does baby grunt all night?

Is a 3 hour nap too long baby?

Is 6pm too early for baby bedtime?

Should babies nap in the dark?

What is purple crying?

3. Potty training

Popular questions include...

When is the best age to start potty training?

How do you begin potty training?

How do I potty train my toddler in 3 days?

Is 3 too late to potty train? Do pull ups hinder potty training?

How often should you put toddler on potty?

Do daycares help potty training?

What should you not do when potty training

Cheerful mother cuddling daughter while sitting on bed with laptop

Sophia Nomicos, founder of Mas & Pas and a mum-of-three, commented on the questions being asked, and understood why the most common ones were on people’s minds:

“Giving birth for the first time is a complete unknown and understandably many women are anxious about how it will happen or even afraid of the experience itself. Not only are they worried about the pain but the ‘embarrassment’ too, however, I can guarantee the pain is quickly forgotten about once you have a newborn in your arms, and, when you’re in the moment, you won’t care if you’ve pooped or not!

“Once you’ve given birth there are so many new challenges ahead; it’s likely you’ll consult ‘Dr. Google’ many times a day. Questions around poo don’t stop either, it’s very common to search for whether your baby’s poo colour is normal, as I’ve done myself on quite a few occasions over the years!”

Grayscale Photography of Doctor Holding Baby

Midwife and author Marie Louise, who is the founder of The Modern Midwife, was called upon to put mothers-to-be’s minds at rest, telling expectant mothers that it’s perfectly natural for women to poo during labour and is not something we should be embarrassed about:

“In our society pooing is a very private thing that most of us will avoid talking about at all costs - let alone having someone else witness it. So, understandably, the thought of pooing in front of other people can be a real concern for women ahead of birth. Women perhaps want to find out if they can have control over it or if it’s something that may just happen.

“It is common to poo towards the end of labour - usually just before the baby arrives and to be honest when us midwives see a poo we get excited because we know we will soon see a baby too!

Photo Of A Newborn

“Pushing usually gets the blame for pooing although the majority of the time it doesn’t have anything to do with pushing. The reason women poo during labour is down to anatomy, so when the baby’s head passes through Mum's pelvis there’s not much space and the head puts pressure on the rectum. As the baby’s head descends it pushes anything out and generally that’s poo! Sometimes knowing why this happens is reassuring as women think that perhaps they will be totally out of control and poo themselves when in fact it’s a great sign that the body is very much in control and doing exactly what it should be in making space for the baby’s arrival.”

Skin and wax specialist and mum Michaela Morris, who runs Terrace Therapies, shared that the shaving question is a very common one among her clients:

“I have a lot of ladies come to me for a wax before they give birth and a lot of them are my usual clients. One of my clients actually booked in on her due date - though I didn’t know until I’d done the wax - and she went into labour later that evening. Trauma to the body or skin in any way is more likely to bring on labour - not that I recommend this as a way to induce yourself!

Free stock photo of art, belt, black

“I waxed at 39 weeks because I wanted to do it for me, not for them (the midwives). I mean, if I feel like a goddess in any possible way throughout the process, it’s going to help, so I completely understand why other women would want to too. If you are planned for a C section though, waxing isn’t advised.”

So there you go! If you ever feel weird for googling something birth or parenting-related, trust us, it’s all been asked before!

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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