There have been warnings against doing too much Internet research from what I've heard about people finding their symptoms to mean worse illnesses than they actually have.
Personally, I find all this research reassuring and very helpful especially in a culture where logic can often be outweighed by kasabihan.
Kasabihan literally translates to "sayings" or "old wives' tales" which permeate even the most sensible and logical conversations.
My mother has already warned me against purchasing baby things in advance. An aunt (on my husband's side) has also warned me against eating pineapples--a Chinese belief--to ward off rashes, if I remember our conversation correctly. Even my husband wasn't safe. A friend and a relative, on two separate occasions, warned him against picking off food I've claimed as my pinaglilihian--very strong, sometimes strange food cravings--lest he become unduly and unreasonably sleepy at odd times of the day.
And that's just a handful of the lot too. I am so sure there are more things that I've not yet heard of, including something as ridiculous as I'm not supposed to sew...for reasons that weren't even explained to me beyond a tongue clicking.
Having grown up surrounded by doctors and living with an aunt who's a family physician, pregnancy and non-pregnancy medical concerns and issues are regular fare as far as dining table discussions go. She'd tell me about what she knows though on occasion, particularly for pregnancy issues, we'd hit a dead end since she's already let her knowledge in obstetrics fade off. Unfortunately, I also forget to ask my own obstetrician since most of the discussions me aunt and I have about these sayings are not of particular health-related importance.
This is not to say I do not have my own bouts of paranoia. I have either said to someone before, or written in my baby journal--yes, I have started keeping one as a matter of writing to my child about his/her stint in my belly--that I would prefer to lose sleep from being pummeled from the inside rather than lose sleep wondering if my baby is okay. I spend many quiet moments just holding my hand to my belly, trying to feel for even the slightest sign of movement, not to mention my worries about how my diet may be affecting the little one given that I've been eating so strangely.
To this end, I've been doing online research into other mothers' experiences, and picking the brain of a friend and mother of two for any advice she might be able to share regarding her own pregnancies. Aside from the desire to acquire new knowledge, learning what things might be expected has helped assuage my own fears.
Obviously my experiences will be unique to me and practical experience will always trump research. But reading about any similarities with others prepares me for things I may not have thought of and allows me to put more attention towards things that my readings did not prepare me for.
I think the paranoia brought on by advanced reading and/or online research really just stems from the fact that sometimes, the influx of information makes the reader forget to listen to their own body and instincts. The urge to buy into everything everyone else says can in fact influence your own system--every heard of hypochondriacs?
Again, this is not to say that reading online is not a good thing. You just really have to be careful and very picky about what you do and don't listen to.