Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience. No matter how much you prepare for it, it's almost like instantly you're responsible for a whole new being and you absolutely feel the need to do everything perfectly. So, while we might be in the 21st century with a plethora of pregnancy guidebook at our disposal, a new study has found that most pregnant women still gladly prefer to rely on their mums for guidance instead.
As per the study, most pregnant women believe that the advice given to them by their mums is at par or even better than that by medical recommendations. For the study, the research team investigated the complex dynamics of a mother-daughter relationship and compared it to the advice from medical handbooks for pregnancy also keeping in mind the emotional and health risks that these pregnant women could face.
The researchers even interviewed the pregnant women and their mothers while following the pregnant women for the duration of their pregnancy. “I found that most pregnancy self-help books, best known for their month-by-month guidance on fetal development and lifestyle coaching, are also empathic about following medical advice exclusively over what they consider the outdated advice of a mother or friend,” said study researcher Danielle Bessett.
“This advice is limited and can result in an increased level of stress and discomfort for some soon-to-be moms,” Bessett added. What the researchers also found was that while all the women took all possible steps to ensure a healthy pregnancy, educated women (at least a Bachelor's degree) were more likely to also follow medical books while uneducated women were more likely to depend solely on their mothers for advice.
“Self-help books are giving us a really terrible picture of soon-to-be grandmothers that pregnant women themselves don’t really fully endorse regardless of who they are,” said Bessett. “I argue that books are strictly endorsing medical guidance exclusively and that’s not the only place where women are getting their information,” Besset added. “One of the most distinctive differences between the two groups showed how much more women with higher education valued how scientific information and modern technology could contribute to a healthy pregnancy,” said Bessett.