New mums using the internet for advice

Women who become mothers for the first time are increasingly turning to the internet for child-rearing advice as opposed to speaking to their midwives, new research has shown. Carried out by Google - which was formalised in 1998 - the study revealed the web is becoming a popular source for mums posing simple baby care questions, such as how to change a nappy.

Other regular searches include instructions on how to bathe an infant and how to put them to bed in order to ensure a thorough night's sleep.

According to the investigation, parents feel more comfortable consulting the net because of the convenience it offers and the embarrassment felt when asking other people.

Nikki Khan, a baby expert who has been a practising midwife since 1989, said: "All first-time mums have questions and no query is ever too small, with many mums being in the same position of not knowing who to ask."

Jessica Chivers, psychologist, parent coach and author of Mothers Work!, commented: "New mothers look to one another for reassurance that what they're experiencing in terms of their own emotions and behaviour, as well as their babies, are normal. 

"Whilst the internet is a great aggregator of experience that parents can gain from, sharing woes with real, local parents - typically those new friendships born out of ante and post natal classes - is important too. 

"We may be inadvertently causing distress to other parents if we give the impression we have all the answers and everything's going swimmingly when that's not quite the case. 

"If the internet died tomorrow parents can take heart that they still have a priceless asset at their disposal which should never be underestimated - intuition."