Becoming a parent is one of the most exciting and nerve-racking times in a person’s life. For as much joy that comes with the new bundle of, well, joy, there is also a whole lot of worry. 1,400 hours of it, in fact.
A new study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mead Johnson Nutrition, surveyed 900 American moms with children aged 0-1 and 100 U.S. pediatricians. Researchers found that new moms spend over 1,400 hours worrying about their babies’ health in the first year. That’s the equivalent of 58 days. 2 out of 12 months.
In addition, researchers found that Google is the go-to for ALL the answers, with new moms performing 330 frantic Google searches within the first year alone. First-time mothers also tend to turn to their own mothers for answers and text or call their mamas 337 times with health-related questions.
And no one with kids is surprised by these results. Combine crazy hormones, overwhelming feelings of inadequacy, sleep deprivation (oh lord, the lack of sleep) and a general overall sense of not knowing what the hell you’re doing, and you’ve got the perfect quadfecta for a panic-induced session with Dr.Google at 3 a.m.
Officially, the survey revealed new moms are most concerned about:
Their infants’ overall health: 58%
Reaching milestones at the right age: 54%
Amount of milk/formula they’re consuming: 52%
Whether they’re growing as they should: 47%
Their nutritional intake (e.g. vitamins, supplements): 47%
Unofficially? I can think of about a million things I was worried about in the first year alone.
- Why is my baby’s poop green?
- My baby peed in my eye, my baby peed in his eye, why is there so much pee?
- When will my baby sleep through the night?
- Why won’t my baby nap?
- Will my baby ever sleep again?
- Will I ever sleep again?
- What does that cry mean? And that one? Is that the same as the first one?
- Why won’t my baby stop crying?
- My baby is biting me. Is she teething or turning into a vampire?
But I digress.
The study, part of an allergy awareness initiative called “Allergic Action,” also tested new mothers’ knowledge of infant allergies. According to 76% of the pediatricians polled, there is an overall lack of information given to parents about allergies. Apparently with food-related allergies on the rise, parents should be more concerned than they actually are. The survey found that only 43% of moms are concerned about allergies, which can greatly impact their children’s health. Of those surveyed, only 4 in 10 mothers are “aware that a cow’s milk allergy is indicative of future allergies” while 55% “know there are ways to reduce the likelihood of future allergies.”
Jonathan Malka, MD, FAAAI, Director of Allergy and Immunology at Pediatric Associates, says:
Surveyed moms may not have ranked allergies at the top of their list of health concerns because many aren’t aware that one of the most common infant allergies, cow’s milk allergy, is indicative of more allergies later in life.
Just another thing to add to the list of worries, mamas.
Unfortunately, babies don’t come with instruction manuals (even though they totally should). But it is somewhat comforting to know that when you are up at midnight, Googling “when will I stop worrying?” (which is never, BTW), it’s totally normal and you only have another 275 searches or so to go…