#MOMBOSS | Stephanie Liu - "Why Evidence Matters in Parenting"
Hi, my name is Stephanie Liu and I am a family doctor and clinical lecturer at the University of Alberta, and a first time momma! I started the blog lifeofdrmom.com because I think it is hard for parents to be able to differentiate inaccurate, possibly dangerous information from reliable credible information online. Life of Dr Mom provides parents with credible information for parenting, child wellness and maternal wellness. Hope you like my blog!
"Why Evidence Matters in Parenting"
In October of 2018, I launched lifeofdrmom.com, my version of a “mommy blog.” But the main focus of my blog isn’t me or my experiences. I am aiming to build a resource for parents/caregivers that is medically accurate and evidence-based, yet still easily accessible.
One of the biggest issues in the internet age is misinformation. It is so easy to find answers to your questions, but so difficult to verify those answers. And in many cases that can be dangerous. When it comes to parenting especially, everyone wants the best for their children and first-time parents in particular are turning to the internet to answer questions ranging from “how to swaddle newborn” to “does this poop look normal?”
When I had my own daughter, I had all the same questions. But as a family doctor in Canada, I had the resources to compile medical papers and research studies to help me along. I wanted other people to have access to the same information that I did, but medical studies aren’t exactly a beach read. People usually look to blogs and forums for advice instead. When I browsed some of these mommy blogs, I was disturbed at how many of them were promoting incorrect facts or unfounded claims. Vaccines, sleep training, and food allergies were among some of the more frequent victims. It was then that I realized just how easy it is to fall into false beliefs and I knew I had to do something about it.
I started the blog by recalling all the questions I’d had from my pregnancy and beyond as well as questions I would receive from patients. I summarized the research in my posts, hoping the facts could reach more people. But I’m competing with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and other popular lifestyle and health blogs.These celebrity platforms work because of the figurehead, so I knew I had to put more of my personality into the blog to reach more people. We as a species want to connect and we trust each other more than faceless entities with cold hard facts. Life of Dr. Mom had to grow beyond a few blog articles. I started to use social media to my advantage, putting more of myself and my voice into the project. I shared more personal stories, like when I struggled to breastfeed my daughter. I had always recommended breastfeeding over formula to my patients, but when I was in the hot seat I found out the hard way that it’s not always so easy.
There are highs and lows of parenting, and no amount of medical school can truly prepare you to raise a child. You’re going to make mistakes, and that’s ok. My blog has two purposes: to offer true, proven medical facts to help inform your decisions when it comes to your baby, and to show you that nobody, not even the people who pretend to be, is perfect.
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