Online mom groups can be a lifesaver for many parents. Spending time in-person with like-minded moms is difficult, and the internet makes it possible to commune with other moms while also getting your 1000 daily duties done. Magical! But, these groups also have their flaws.
One mom wrote on ScaryMommy about her experience after joining “a bunch” of mom groups online. She has a plea for other moms: stop giving unqualified medical advice!
Megan Storm explained that she gets a lot of useful information from mom groups. For example, she’s learned about freezer meal prep and helpful product recommendations.
“As time went on though, and particularly after the birth of my second child, I started to realize a more disturbing pattern,” Megan wrote. “These groups were giving out some pretty scary advice, to very vulnerable people, they weren’t qualified to give.”
Megan gives several examples of instances where moms give unqualified medical advice to each other, from whether to get an epidural to whether to vaccinate your kids. Of course, these are important decisions that require a lot of research, planning and consultation… with a licensed health professional. Doctors aren’t perfect – they often ignore women’s concerns, which might be why so many moms turn to the internet for help. But still! Presenting an opinion as a fact can be outright dangerous, Megan wrote.
“Mom groups, I’m not saying to never ask anything medical,” she wrote. “But the obvious, rational thing to do in most situations is to always redirect people back to their doctors for the ultimate answer.”
That sounds wise.