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10 Questions with Dr. Stephanie Liu

Each month, we play 10 questions with one of the Alberta’s most interesting mamas. This month we hear from Dr. Stephanie Liu who completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary and subsequently completed a Masters of Science in Clinical Nutrition at Columbia University in New York City. Her medical school and residency in Family Medicine were completed at the University of Alberta. Currently, she practices community family medicine and acute care at the University of Alberta Hospital.

Five months ago, she started, a website providing families with medically credible parenting and health advice. Dr. Liu is wife to Graeme, an ENT surgeon and mommy to Madi, her sweet and spunky toddler.

1. What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job at the University of Alberta Hospital?

I practice inpatient family medicine at the University of Alberta Hospital and have a community family medicine practice in south west Edmonton. I love both inpatient and community medicine and find them both very rewarding for different reasons. In my  community family practice, I am fortunate to develop a long term relationship with my patients over months and years. The physician-patient relationship is so important to ensure that patients can meet their long term health related goals. In inpatient family medicine, it is extremely rewarding to help a patient return home to their friends and family after a critical illness.  In both settings, I work with an amazing interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals

2. Why were you inspired to start Life of Dr. Mom?

I think it’s hard as a parent to determine what is credible medical information and what is inaccurate (and possibly dangerous!) information online. Some topics that I searched for as a new mom were sleep training and infant feeding.  It is frightening how much misinformation there is out there. I wanted to create a resource that families can trust when they are trying to find information about parenting, child health and maternal health. By providing medically credible advice and also my personal perspectives, I hope that families can feel confident in their parenting choices knowing they are backed by science.

3. What sets your blog apart from the other parenting blogs out there?

I really enjoy reading parenting blogs.  I like to read and learn about other parents experiences and advice. However, I find the advice in many blogs is based on opinion and anecdotal experiences and not on research studies. I try my best to provide advice based on credible research studies.

4. Which three words best describe your parenting style?

  • Playful

  • Realistic

  • Attentive

5. What’s your favourite kid-friendly destination in Edmonton?

Parks by our house when the weather cooperates.  It is great being able to walk to a park after work before dinner, or on weekends.

We like McDonald’s play areas and Sweet Pea Café and Playhouse.

6. You can recommend one book to Alberta Mamas readers. Which title do you choose?

I  read How to Walk by Thich Nhat Han – it’s a series of books about mindfulness. I became interested in mindfulness after Madi was born;  I’m trying my best to live in the moment and appreciate those special moments. It’s too easy to become focused on work or other things.

7. It’s Sunday morning. How are you spending the day?

My husband and I try our best to not work on Sundays unless we’re on call for the hospital. Graeme normally makes breakfast – he makes really delicious buttery scrambled eggs (he uses way more butter than me), and then we go to the park or go swimming.

8. Who has been the biggest influence on your life and why?

My mother. She balanced running her own company while also caring for her family. She showed me that you can have it all – a beautiful family life and a career as long as you don’t expect perfection from yourself or others.

9. What’s your best advice for new parents?

Similar to what I learned from my mom, I think it is impossible to be the perfect parent or family.  When I try to be perfect I get grumpy and lose sight of what’s important (quality time with family). I used to think that I had to avoid screen time, teach madi non-stop and make healthy meals all the time. I now realize that I’m happier when I let her watch a little YouTube (in moderation), just hangout with Madi instead of trying to teach and go out for fast food (in moderation) when I’m too tired to cook.

10. Who would you nominate for 10 questions and why?

Erin Manchuk is a clinical pharmacist that I met while working at the University of Alberta Hospital. We became first time moms around the same time and got to know each other better after we had children. Erin is a great colleague, mother and friend who overcame postpartum depression and she is also the editor of my blog Life of Dr Mom. I love how open Erin is about mental health and really enjoy listening to her perspective on life and parenting. Listening to my patients and Erin’s experience with postpartum depression has made me realize the importance of mental health advocacy. For that reason, many of my posts on discuss mental health topics.

Kirsten Clark is a high school English teacher, a reader, a writer, a runner, a podcast junkie, a lover of good food, and, most importantly, a mom. She lives in Vermilion with her husband and son, a curious and energetic toddler, who keeps his parents on their toes!  Connect with her on Instagram @kirstenlanae.