As a professional, I have often cringed at the "advice" women receive from online support groups. In the roles we have as doulas, educators, lactation helpers, etc., we strive to offer information versus advice -- our personal experience has little bearing or value on the help we give.
This differs from groups where women convene for friendly, been-there/done-that stories of real-life. The information we offer as professionals is often an analysis of a woman's issue -- we are pointing the spotlight on one specific thing and how to improve a situation. Conversely, in a support group with peers, there is often a larger-scale picture presented. The ability to synthesize an issue -- to take all the pieces and plug them into life -- helps a woman see how things may actually work for her specific experience. The value of hearing what others have found helpful, ways they have creatively addressed solutions, and feeling the true, honest support from one who has been in that situation, is what makes these support groups not only effective, but also needed!
The next time you roll your eyes at a response, feeling you are an Avenger of Accurate Information whilst type, type, typing up a clarifying three-paragraphs of scientific rebuttal, remember: Women take both parts -- the evidence-based information, AND the emotionally engaging anecdotes of others -- to make their choices. Both sides offer insight and confidence when making difficult decisions, ultimately leaving a women stronger and more prepared for her future.
♥ four young boys and a boy dog (offspring)