Health / Pharma

Google Knows What Pregnant Women Around the World Really Want

The Google gods have spoken, and—news flash—pregnant women aren’t just trolling the Internet for new ways to combine peanut butter, saltines, pickles, and ice cream. Harvard researcher Seth Stephens-Davidowitz recently combed through the Web behemoth’s aggregate search data to find what ladies in 20 countries are really thinking about when they’re expecting.

The search queries run the gamut, but as you might expect, worries about what pregnant women can do without hurting their baby feature prominently. Stephens-Davidowitz wrote in the New York Times that here in the United States, we’re all about food, drink, drugs, and keeping our figure.

“Can pregnant women ‘eat shrimp,’ ‘drink wine,’ ‘drink coffee’ or ‘take Tylenol’?” he wrote about the most common searches. How in the world do we keep stretch marks from taking over our hips and bellies? After all, body shaming and bikini body season don’t go away postpartum.

Head to Australia, and the big concern is whether pregnant women can eat dairy products, especially cream cheese. Go to Nigeria, “where 30 percent of the population uses the Internet,” wrote Stephens-Davidowitz, and “the top question is whether pregnant women can drink cold water.” Nigerians also aren’t buying vats of stretch mark–preventing creams. He found that folks from that nation “tend to be more concerned with how to have sex or how to sleep.” (How sensible of them.)

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