I see it in my news-feed on Facebook, through twitter and in my inbox. A constant barrage of parenting advise. Some from media sources such as Parenting Magazine, organizations such as Zero to Three and American Academy of pediatrics, others from well meaning professionals or parents who have blogs, and last but not least friends and family.
In most cases these are labeled appropriately, whether is is research or opinion and I am able, as discerning adult to pick and choose what I pay attention to. BUT there are plenty of people asking advise, not of their health professionals on issues such as breast feeding help, but to the blanket of social media and taking it as Gold. Instead of taking advise from a doctor that knows your medical history, or even close friends and family that have a true connection to you and your life, people are throwing their questions out there to any and everyone to weigh in. This becomes more and more concerning because not all advise is created equal.
Health advise is coming in all shapes and sizes too, what may not seem related to health in parenting blogs is often inner related. Discipline tips, media monitoring, screen time debates are all related to the health of our children, but these are often discussed with no research backing. Larger debates are happening around vaccinations, first food introduction and allergies all based on experience, which is valid, but may not work for every individual. As a parent myself it is difficult to not get sucked into some of these well meaning topics, but as a child development and public health professional I am cautious and often concerned about the information being shared.
Here are some great places to seek information if choosing not to go to a professional for help:
Best tip is to be mindful, it effects the most important people in your life: your children