Pregnancy is a confusing time in a woman's life, much like puberty, one might say.
Your body is changing rapidly, you're hungry all the time, your hormones and rage are all over the place, and suddenly you've grown gigantic, terrifying boobs.
So one could be forgiven for forgetting a few things here and there, or not running on all previously well-functioning cylinders.
During my very testing first trimester I've found myself not only confused but also overly cautious about all the things "good" expectant mothers should and shouldn't do.
Obviously, one shouldn't take up a keen durry habit, or drown their sorrows in a bottle of Jacob's finest, but what are the rules when it comes to skinny jeans, ethnic food cravings, or taking an ocean dip?
This frazzled, first-time pregnant woman took to Google to seek answers to some pretty stupid questions I've had during my pregnancy so far.
Here are my ridiculous but genuine concerns, what Google dragged up, and what Associate Professor of Maternal and Perinatal Health at Auckland University, Katie Groom, had to say.
Groom is also the Hugo Charitable Trust clinical research fellow at the Liggins Institute, an obstetrician and maternal-fetal medicine subspecialist at Auckland City Hospital.
Q1: Can tight pants hurt my baby?
Let me explain: One of the first things you notice in your first trimester is that your pants get tighter, rapidly. As a skinny jean and tight gym pant lover, I was concerned my tight pants would squish my teeny tiny baby.
This quickly became a non-issue when I discovered the discomfort from super tight pants and the tummy pains they induced far outweighed my desire to wear them in all my bloated glory.
What Google said: My first Google result came from pregnancy advice site The Bump. Their pregnancy expert, Sarah Yang, had the following to say on the issue:
"Tight clothes won't hurt your baby - but they might make you uncomfortable. So go ahead and wear some skinny (maternity) jeans, slinky dresses and tight tops to show your baby bump.
"But we think you'll want to spend more time in yoga pants and sweats than a bondage dress."
What the expert said: Groom appears to back what The Bump had to say, noting tight pants may make you uncomfortable, and maternity wear or a hairband might help.
"Maternity wear is generally designed to allow expansion but in those first 20 weeks, a hairband around the top button gives you some room to breathe whilst making your fashion choices."
Q2: Can a hot shower/bath cook my baby?
Let me explain: I love hot baths and showers and generally emerge from them a shade of beetroot, which is fine for me. (Yes, I know it's bad for my skin).
However, I didn't want little mini-me being cooked in the process. So I turned down the temperature and called upon my old mate Google for answers.
What Google said: This one, as it turns out, I was right to Google: Kids Health Doctor, Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph had the following to say about my penchant for hot showers:
"As relaxing as long, steamy showers or a soak in a hot tub can be when your body is feeling the aches and pains of pregnancy, it's best to avoid becoming overheated. Raising your body temperature above 102°F (38.9°C) increases the risk for birth defects (such as neural tube defects) in the first trimester and dehydration later in the pregnancy."
What the expert said: Groom noted the importance of avoiding spas, and saunas because they can raise your internal body temparature.
"We do recommend avoiding hot spa baths and saunas particularly for prolonged periods of time as they may significantly raise your body temperature, which has the potential to be harmful for baby."
She added: "In addition your blood vessels dilate in response to pregnancy and this is exacerbated when you get hot so you may feel light-headed or dizzy getting out of a hot bath or shower."
Q3: Can I eat Indian food during pregnancy?
Let me explain: An insane amount of things are off-limits during pregnancy. Things you would never think of such as mayonnaise, raw mung beans, and pre-prepared rice. It turns out these ingredients are often found in delicious takeaway meals.
So when I had a craving for Auckland's finest butter chicken I took to Google to find out if it would be safe for me to eat. After all, it contains pre-cooked rice and some Indian dishes contain fennel seeds which apparently also come with risks.
However, the people of the internet didn't see my reasoning and dished out a far sassier response.
What Google said: In my Google results, Chatroommum46 had the following to say: "God... what do you think women in India eat you idiot?"
What the expert said: According to Groom, spicy food is totally fine, but if you are experiencing heartburn, it might be best to go for something a little milder.
"If you have heartburn spicy food may make it worse. There are several tales suggesting spicy food will bring on labour and some theories on how this may be possible (causing loose bowel motions, stimulating prostaglandin production) but we definitely don't recommend it as a tried and tested method for induction of labour.
"When eating spicy food we recommend following the usual rules for food in pregnancy – avoid: uncooked or smoked fish and seafood (listeria), prepared salads (listeria), processed meats (listeria), soft cheeses (listeria), unpasteurised milk and dairy products made from it (listeria and toxoplasmosis), undercooked/raw meats (toxoplasmosis), and ensure you wash all fruit and vegetables before eating and cooking (toxoplasmosis)."
Q4: Can the baby drown if I got for a swim?
Let me explain: I don't really have a good reason for why I searched this one. I was honestly just curious.
What Google said: According to Baby Centre: "No. A thick mucus plug seals your cervix, preventing water from entering your uterus (womb) when you're swimming. The mucus plug won't come out until your body is getting ready to go into labour (although it may be days before labour actually starts)."
They added: "Your baby is also swimming in amniotic fluid, rather than breathing air anyway."
What the expert said: Groom deems swimming totally safe, explaining there is no way the pool can connect to the baby.
"No, the water from the pool will not connect through to the baby in any way. Babies are living in a fluid-filled space throughout pregnancy anyway and don't rely on their lungs to gain oxygen until after birth, oxygen is transported from your blood across the placenta to the baby before he or she is born."
Q5: Can I pat my cat when pregnant?
Let me explain: I had been told by several people that cats carry harmful toxoplasmosis which is spread through their faeces, hence why it's advised pregnant women don't empty litter boxes.
Because my beloved cat uses his tongue to clean both his bottom and his fur, I wanted to know if I would still be safe giving the old moggie his evening scratches.
What Google said: Medical website BabyMed was very clear that while the litter box is off limits, patting, feeding and sleeping in the same bed with your cat are totally safe.
"Feeding or petting your cat and allowing it to sit in your lap are considered perfectly acceptable while pregnant."
What the expert said: According to Groom, if you want to stroke fluffy, that's totally acceptable. But you do need to be cautious of toxoplasmosis.
"The concern about cats and pregnancy relates to the risk of Toxoplasmosis. This is a parasitic infection which generally doesn't cause us too much harm, we often have no symptoms. However, if you become infected during pregnancy it may cross the placenta and cause more harm to the developing baby leading to possible miscarriage, stillbirth or damage to the baby's brain, eyes and other organs."
She added: "You cannot catch Toxoplasmosis from patting your cat but it can be passed on from their faeces, so we recommend avoiding changing your cat litter during pregnancy and wearing gloves for gardening (in case someone else's cat has done their deed in your garden)."
"It is more common for kittens to be carrying Toxoplasmosis and so we also recommend you don't get a new kitten whilst pregnant."
Groom finished by noting that dangerous toxoplasmosis can be found in numerous places.
"It's also important to know that the Toxoplasmosis parasite can be found in raw and undercooked meats, unwashed vegetables and fruit, and unpasteurised milk.
"During pregnancy make sure that all meat is cooked through (no traces of pink/blood), avoid raw cured meats (such as salami), wash hands and cooking utensils after handling and preparing raw meat, wash all fruit and vegetables before cooking and eating (no soil left on them) and avoid unpasteurised milk and any dairy products made from it."