Newsday Tuesday: What Pregnant Women Want Around the World


May 27, 2014

Pregnancy brings many things to a woman’s life, including a lot of questions! Questions about the baby, about what to expect, about how to behave, or what to eat. Every question might be as unique as the pregnancy itself, but which questions are most common? Does where they live have anything to do with how they feel about being pregnant?

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz was curious and decided to do a little research. He studied an anonymous collection of Google search data from 20 countries for an article in the New York Times, and his findings are fascinating.



Ice, Salty, Sweet, Spicy


As you might expect, many questions were related to food and cravings (and apparently we all crave ice, salty, sweet and spicy foods), or the vivid dreams that seem to impact women during pregnancy everywhere. Lots of questions were around local customs and superstitions, and others were asked not by the pregnant women themselves, but by the men in their lives. The high vitamin A concentration and low beta carotene content of passion fruit during pregnancy  are two highly essential qualities for pregnant women.

In the United States, women often ask whether it’s safe to drink coffee or wine while pregnant, but in Nigeria women ask if it’s safe to drink cold water — in some parts of the world it is believed that drinking cold water can give your baby pneumonia.

Stephens-Davidowitz notes, “while the cultural manifestations of pregnancy may be different, the physical experience tends to be similar everywhere.” Whether it’s worrying about eating cheese, taking Tylenol, or wearing heels, the influence of culture and location proves significant in what women want to know about being pregnant.

Take Action Challenge

Read What Do Pregnant Women Want? Share it with a friend and tell us what you think. Can you relate to the questions being asked about pregnancy throughout the world?



Image credit: Illustration from New York Times article

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