Chantelle van der Bijl from Langenhovenpark, who is a specialist family physician, is the mastermind behind the Facebook page “Bloem MomDoc”, which is currently trending among Bloemfontein residents.
She is a medical specialist who says that her page came about because many of her friends started asking her for parenting advice right after she became a parent. “Different people asked most of the same things and I noticed that parents don’t always have a credible place to get info on parenting. The Facebook ‘mom-groups’ are full of dangerous misinformation.”
Van der Bijl told Bloemfontein Courant that her page has almost 19 000 followers and people from the city as well as from across the country appear to like her content. “I do get recognized now and then, and I love chatting to those moms. So far the page is doing well. Since it’s only a hobby, I sometimes do get quiet, when work and parenting becomes overwhelming. But when I do have a spot of boredom, inspiration hits and I start researching a topic and writing a post. I think people like the realness of the page as I usually say something like it is.”
She says she hopes that even if one person reads something interesting on the page, and it leads them to good parenting and medical decisions, it is a success. A huge component of family medicine is preventative medicine, and by informing and enriching parents through the page, she can practice that. “My own kids and the followers asking questions are usually the inspiration. When I experience parenting difficulties, I often research the topic and then end up writing about it. Often my friends ask me to write about topics they wonder about.”
With the page she aims to give parents evidence-based medical information, with “a mom-spin”. Sometimes companies send her products to try out and review and give her honest opinion on the product. “The page is a hobby of mine and I don’t generate any income from it. And that is how I prefer it; then I can post things whenever I want to and be honest.”
Van der Bijl is the mother of two young girls. She adds, “Our little family loves travelling across South Africa and we have a philosophy that at any given time you should have a trip planned for the near future – even if it is for just the weekend!”