Diagnosis: Information Overload

The Internet is amazing.  Easy communication between continents, quick access to the rules on semicolon usage, and adorable animal videos.  What’s not to love?  Well, for me, the gross amount of information available on pregnancy and mothering.  Here is a tiny sample of the useful info the Internet has provided me concerning pregnancy.
Google query:  “What to eat while pregnant?”
You absolutely have to get enough folic acid, vitamin C, Calcium, iron and about a dozen other things while pregnant or your baby will not have a fully developed spinal cord, skeleton, or eyebrows. You can get these things from dark green vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, milk, yogurt, steak, eggs.

Google query: “gas and indigestion while pregnant”

You will inevitably suffer from gas and indigestion.  In the case of severe pain avoid eating dark green vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, and dairy products.

Google query: “Foods to avoid while pregnant”

Avoid any undercooked meat and eggs and any unpasteurized dairy or fruit juices.  Consuming these will cause terrible bacteria to eat your baby.

Google query: “Important nutrients while pregnant”

You really, really need to eat a lot of iron, which the body easily absorbs from meat and eggs, spinach and beans.


An hour of this will make a sane person’s head explode.  You should eat beans and broccoli but not if you want to avoid being doubled over with gas pain.  You should eat lots of meat and dairy but only if it’s been pasteurized or cooked until it can be used as a spare tire.  This is the curse of too much information.  Spend enough time researching and you will inevitably end up with contradictory information.   If it’s not flat out contradictory, it will at least make every bite of salad cause for an anxiety attack and present you with the choice of gritting through passing a beach ball through your intestines or depriving your baby of vital nutrients.  And we all know which option a good mother would choose.

During my first few weeks, I had pretty much convinced myself there was no way the baby could make it out of my uterus alive when I had my first consultation with Dr. Paulo Batistuta.  Leaning back in his chair, he listened while I asked about eating fish and peanut butter and salad prepared by anyone’s hands other my own.  He smiled and said “Go ahead enjoy.”  Restaurants don’t do very good business if their patrons get sick, so they keep their food clean and fresh.  As long as my peanut butter is made in the USA, it’s no problem.  (Remember, Brazilian peanuts can carry a liver-eating fungus.)  And fish? Well, of course. Moqueca capixaba is delicious, isn’t it?  Yes, doctor.  Yes it is.  And thanks to you, I will now be able to enjoy it without a side of guilt.

Internet research is basically the only skill I got in college and it has become something of a curse since being pregnant.  Dr. Paulo is exactly the zen master this patient needs.  Eat a balanced diet. Cook everything until there’s no pink.  Stop using Google.  Everyone will be fine.


  1. holy crap youre pregnant!!!! i have been away from my brazil blogs WAY too long! congrats!! im so happy for you! will have to go back and read all the posts i missed…and Salty has missed Coconut Water too! eeep so exciting 🙂

  2. Ditto what AMJ said. Internet research is a wonderful thing — until it makes you crazy.

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