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Study Reveals What Our Pregnancy Googling Habits Say About Us

Study reveals pregnancy Googling habits around the world
Photograph by www.jupiterimages.com

What goes on in the mind of a pregnant woman? Some genuinely bored curious guy was apparently wondering that same thing recently, and subsequently spent an awful lot of time researching it. Analyzing the Google searches of pregnant women (and their husbands) around the world, Seth Stephen-Davidowitz wrote up his findings for an Op-Ed piece in Sunday's New York Times. Our first thought when we heard this was that he must have waded through some pretty out-there and (let's be honest) TMI questions from moms-to-be. But all kidding aside, it's all pretty fascinating.

A lot of what he found first were "Is it safe…?" type questions, mostly having to do with food. Is it safe to eat shrimp? What about deli meat? Is that second cup of coffee really off-limits?

But he noted some interesting differences from country-to-country, such as American women seem to be more worried about having a glass of wine while pregnant than moms-to-be in countries like Canada, Australia or Britain. Compare that to countries like Nigeria, where only 30 percent of women even have the Internet, and they are more often found Googling things like "Is it safe to drink cold water?" In Australia, the writer notes that unpasteurized cheese is a big concern — specifically cream cheese.

The U.S., Australia and Canada also seem to be preoccupied with eliminating stretch marks. In the U.S. specifically, our top searches for "How to ____ during pregnancy?" go in this order: prevent stretch marks, lose weight, have sex, avoid stretch marks and stay fit.

In contrast, moms-to-be in countries like Ghana, India and Nigeria are more concerned with how to safely have sex and get a good night's sleep.

There was also a lot of … weird stuff. Particularly when Stephen-Davidowitz looked at the Google searches of dads-to-be. Many revealed that husbands had "a new desire" for their wives after giving birth — which all sounds wonderful and fabulous until you read that the new desire involves their wives breast-feeding them.

Subsequently, a lot of the women in these countries were also feverishly Googling things beginning with "my husband wants" — and in India, the top search for this is "my husband wants me to breastfeed him." (Translation: "AHHHHH!")

This same desire in the U.S. is far more rare — or at least, it's not within the top 10 "my husband wants" searches. (It falls behind "my husband wants to share me" and "my husband wants to be a woman," in case you were wondering.)

Another finding? Pregnant women everywhere apparently all crave the same things, regardless of where we live. No surprises, our No. 1 food search is ice cream. (No mention of pickles.)

You can read more of what Stephen-Davidowitz learned from all his tireless Google-search reporting in his full op-ed article here, and check out this handy country-by-country infographic.

What were/are your biggest pregnancy questions?

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