Health Gurus on Social Media
Unsubstantiated Claims Aren’t Always Harmless
Some time ago, a heartfelt message from Dr. Jojanneke Kant appeared on social media. A post that quickly caught the attention of various newspapers. It warned us that if we’re not careful, we may lose to the claims made by various health gurus to their followers. This includes discouraging the use of hormonal contraception. We believe making choices for yourself is crucial, but it should be based on accurate information obtained from professionals who truly understand the subject, such as your family doctor or a midwife, especially if you have questions about getting pregnant or preventing pregnancy. Do you have doubts about something you’ve seen or heard on social media? Feel free to ask us your questions anytime.
Influencer on TikTok
Dr. Jojanneke Kant’s story appeared on LinkedIn. It’s about an 18-year-old girl, crying in her office because she was pregnant. Despite following advice from an influencer on Instagram and TikTok and opting for periodic abstinence while avoiding the pill, as the influencer deemed it “chemical junk that could make you infertile.” The girl eventually underwent an abortion alone because her parents were kept in the dark about her situation.
The described situation is very heartbreaking and could have been avoided if self-proclaimed health gurus didn’t falsely claim knowledge and expertise that allows them to give advice to others. Their advice often assumes that what worked for them or helped them is universally applicable, which is a significant fallacy. Unfortunately, this situation is not an exception. Many of Dr. Kant’s colleagues voiced their agreement on the same post, as they too recognize and experience such situations in their practices.
Healthcare Is Not a ‘Copy-Paste’
In healthcare, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You can’t simply copy something; what works or causes side effects for one person can be entirely different for another. It may also not align with someone’s values or lifestyle. There are so many variables that each client and healthcare query must be individually assessed for the best approach. Therefore, advice via social media is not recommended; what works for an influencer may have completely different outcomes for others.
Personalized Advice Tailored to You
Because everyone is unique, healthcare providers tailor their advice to the individual they are advising. This way, many women can use hormonal contraception without issues, while others may experience side effects or may choose not to use it due to personal beliefs. It’s important to collaborate with a healthcare professional who knows what they are talking about and listens to your questions and concerns.
Side Effects vs. Reliability?
Where some women prioritize the side effects of contraception, others may focus on its reliability. This choice depends on individual circumstances. Someone in a stable family situation may make different decisions compared to an 18-year-old student without a stable relationship. Therefore, general advice is not really advice because it cannot account for personal circumstances.
Personal Professional Advice Instead of Online Information
A lot of information is available on the internet, and there are reliable websites with trustworthy information. However, even if you obtain information from there, it’s crucial to know how to apply that knowledge and adapt it to your specific situation. That’s why our advice is always to have a conversation with a professional healthcare provider. Someone you can ask questions and who can provide you with personalized advice, taking into consideration your situation, preferences, and options.
Knowledge and Experience with Trained Healthcare Providers
Trained healthcare providers such as midwives, family doctors, and gynecologists have dedicated years to their profession. Furthermore, they continue to learn, gain experience, and stay updated on developments that aren’t covered in textbooks. This results in a valuable combination of knowledge and experience among professional healthcare providers. Thankfully, there are many different healthcare providers in the Netherlands. Therefore, always find someone who suits your needs so you can rely on expert and personalized advice.
Do You Have Questions? Ask Our Midwives
Do you want to know if a message, post, or advice you’ve come across on social media is accurate or relevant to you? Or do you want to explore all the possibilities available to you in a well-informed manner? Feel free to come to us for a personal conversation. We want to help you make an informed choice with all our knowledge and years of experience.