Jones with her husband Donnie and their children, twins Amelia and Reese, 8, Milo, 5, and Pax, 2. Photo / Provided
An Invercargill-based doctor with more than 2 million social media followers has had his content banned by a US school that compared his videos to Playboy magazine.
Dr. Mama Jones, aka obstetrician-gynecologist Danielle Jones, is well known for her candid videos discussing the odds and ends of the vagina, pregnancy, and women’s health.
Some of its content was recently banned by a school board in Alaska after its content was described as “racy and explicit”, which Jones called ridiculous.
“It was shocking to me to see headlines where my content was described as racy, explicit with my face front and center while in the video I was not talking about sex in any way,” Jones said.
“Interestingly, it wasn’t even about sex, it was about normal things that a vagina does like talking discharge or making noises that you might not think are normal, but it is. “
The controversy began when teachers in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District saw one of Jones’ videos and thought its content would be useful for school sex education.
The school board got involved and held a lengthy meeting to discuss the use of Jones’ chain.
Board member Matthew Sampson drew a comparison to using Playboy as a source of education and said that Jones, who he called “Mom what have you got,” the videos were “undoubtedly debatable”.
“Why the hell would we partner with a YouTube channel that’s questionable,” he said during a board meeting.
Other council members wondered if they should allow the children to trust Jones as a reliable source.
Jones pointed out that she is a certified practitioner of obstetrics and gynecology and “is indeed a reliable source.”
Jones questioned the school’s policy of allowing families to ‘remove their children’ from sex education, saying denying children access to information worsens issues such as teenage pregnancy .
Jones then had two minutes to speak in front of the school board.
“I said if they wanted to use my videos they could, but I said if they were going to have educators having a talk about someone’s content they should probably let them know,” she said.
“It was not very professional.”
Jones said she has now removed herself from the situation.
“I’ve spent hours of my life watching their school board meeting and I thought you know what it’s not worth my time, I said my play.”
The Herald contacted the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District for comment and they confirmed that Jones appeared before the board and sent a copy of her testimony.
Jones said she let go of the Alaska school controversy and only took the positives from it.
The sensational video now has nearly 4 million views.
“I got messages from students in the same neighborhood who said they were watching my content anyway and others who said they started watching me because the board made a big deal out of it.
“Anything I can do to educate people and spread the right information is positive for me.”
The medical specialist moved to New Zealand with her husband and four children in November last year to take up a consultancy position at Southland Hospital.
Before taking the job, Jones made it clear how important it was to her to create entertaining and educational content.
“It’s a big part of what I do and I get a lot of satisfaction out of it,” she said.
And Jones already has unique New Zealand content ideas.
“I would like to sit down and chat with a Maori midwife, learn about cultural childbirth practices and highlight some New Zealand content at some point.”
Jones gets content ideas from TV shows, news media, and questions teens are raising on social media.
She said she loves debunking myths and providing good medical answers to questions women have about their reproductive organs.
In addition to local content, Jones said she will continue to create content with up-to-date information about Covid-19 and vaccinations.
Jones saw the devastating effect Covid had on pregnant mothers in her final weeks in Texas.
The state was at the height of the Delta outbreak, and Jones was delivering babies to mothers who were unconscious and on ventilators.
She also tested positive before moving to New Zealand.
At the end of last year, she started getting congested and having headaches, but initially attributed this to allergies.
Later, while cleaning, Jones was having trouble breathing and it looked like she was having an asthma attack. Her husband thought it was because of the strong smelling cleaning product she was using – until Jones said she couldn’t smell it.
Loss of sense of smell is one of the symptoms of Covid-19.
Jones said the illness was “much worse than the flu” and found the experience “terrifying”.
She struggled to breathe for months afterwards.
But she said the experience made her even more passionate about “making sure the right information gets to the right people”.