Motherhood isn’t a safe bet, but thanks to Reddit, feeling more confident in your ability to be a parent comes naturally.
After a swell of personal stories hit the internet, the parenting community-site has gone offline while MDs on Reddit figured out a better way to answer questions. The AMA, or Ask Me Anything, tradition has taken a turn for the better.
Multiple maternal health doctors weighed in to offer advice on everything from ovarian cysts to stretch marks to false memories. (I’m not worthy.)
The AMA moderators had reached out to doctors at prominent pediatric hospitals and the Richard J. Doheny Memorial VA Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The first AMA, moderated by OB-GYN Dr. Laura, a.k.a. Slowthebabygardener, a mother of three, was hosted on February 1, and covered all the usual subjects.
Though she shared her years of experience with children, for every policy she recommended, there was a blank and a request for clarification.
Surprisingly, pregnancy itself didn’t raise as many questions as the specific techniques that some of her fellow online doctors preferred to provide.
Another New York-based pediatrician, Dr. Sandra Weintraub, hopped into the breach for an AMA with MotherLogicMD on January 22. An expert in female reproductive tract infection, she gave up some of her most intimate knowledge on the subject.
Weintraub, also the founder of Mom Tribe, a parenting site for Moms, ran into a different issue: She was booked solid for three days straight, so she hustled over to the petit commercial bank in Montpelier, Vermont, to join fellow docs Maria Bagazio of Doctors of Lucky Hill in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Dr. Marci Freeman of Green Acres Family Practice in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.
MotherLogicMD founder Marie Sutcliffe of Sheilas’ Little Fools in Westchester, New York, hosted the joint AMA. Hutcheson was under the belief that she would answer no more than five questions, but when some parents found out she was on an AMA, they wanted a full day’s worth of answers.
Before Sutcliffe hit “publish,” she sent the Reddit moderators a list of the MDs’ most commonly asked questions, then made her way around the web to fine-tune their questions.
One mom asked her what questions everyone should ask the doctor before childbirth, with suggestions like: How can I resolve a hip issue with my husband, or a massage to help overcome his chest pain?
However, we all know someone who is more eager to jump into a mommy jail than a wall, and if Sutcliffe had more time to answer questions, she might get lots of them.
The AMAors created the following guidelines to be heeded by all, regardless of pregnancy expertise. They asked us to relay the AMA on this joyous occasion.
“Now that we’ve opened an AMA, we’re putting the reigns on guests. Anyone who thinks they have the answers to questions should consider it — try and get some consultation before you post. In about eight hours, I think everyone will have their doubts about whether or not it’s worth the time. Everyone who wants to post a question should take their time and go through the steps on our AMA thread.”
Doctor who was positive she was the one person who was smart enough to answer all of your questions just shot to the top of the AMA heap. The elusive doctors (literally or figuratively) will be returning to the scene, but only as audience members. It’s safe to say that Mary Ellen Morrissey — AMA username Supermomdotcom — will reign supreme.
Parents — who are everyone — shared the advice they took away most, along with the things they struggled with the most, and there’s something for everyone.
“I took my AMA quite seriously. I expected everyone to come back and tell me what I had missed and what else I should have said,” Sutcliffe said. “I was surprised by just how hard it was for people to get things right, and really had to just listen to them, and double over when they botched things up. It was a real professional experience.”
Mother knows best, but the moderators have advice for both doctors and parents.
“Please be thoughtful when you reply,” Sutcliffe advised. “This is important information to share. I would encourage all mamas to keep that in mind — if you have an answer, share it with the group.
If you see a mom who will follow your advice and you get less than five questions per