Objective: to investigate whether and how Chinese pregnant women used the Internet to retrieve pregnancy-related information. Design and setting: a descriptive, cross-sectional design using a waiting-room questionnaire was employed to obtain information from Chinese pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic of a general hospital in Guangzhou, mainland China from September to October in 2011. Participants: a total of 335 Chinese women pregnant at least 32 weeks participated in the study with the response rate 85%. Findings: the great majority of the women (91.9%) had access to the Internet. Most of them (88.7%) used it to retrieve health information and began from the beginning of the pregnancy. Fetal development and nutrition in pregnancy were the two most often mentioned topics of interest. More than half of the women regarded the information as reliable. The first most important criterion for judging the trustworthiness of web-based information was if the facts were consistent with information from other sources; the second most important criterion was if references were provided. Most (75.1%) of the women did not discuss the information they retrieved from the Internet with their health professionals. Conclusion: the Internet was a common source for pregnancy related information among Chinese pregnant women, the same as that in the western countries. Health professionals should be able to guide Chinese pregnant women to high-quality, web-based information and then take the opportunity to discuss this information with them during antenatal visits, consultations and childbirth education classes.