2014 Mom Approved Doc

2014 Mom-Approved DocThank you for nominating me to the Metro Parent’s 2014 Mom Approved Best Doctors! I received the following endorsements:

“Great doctor! Spends enough time with patients. She is kind, understanding, honest and trustworthy. Although she is busy, she never makes me feel rushed and returns my calls in a timely fashion. I would recommend this pediatrician to my friends.” – Marim A., Farmington Hills

“She is the absolute best doctor I have ever been to in my entire life! Spends the time to explain everything for our little girl. Provides the best advice for taking care of our newborn and makes you feel so welcome. I would recommend her to anyone with a baby and/or a child.” – Vlad L., Auburn Hills

“Dr. Strumba is so patient, welcoming and gentle! Every visit is a positive experience.” – Bayla B., West Bloomfield

Thank you again, you made my day!


Choosing a Pediatrician for Your First Baby

Pregnant. Artwork by natasek.blogspot.com (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)I received the following question from an expectant new mother:

Hello! My husband and I are expecting our first baby. We don’t know what we’re having. I just started researching Pediatricians in our area and came across your name on a number of review sites.

Everything looks good as I just started my 3rd trimester. We are delivering in Royal Oak Beaumont but want to find our baby’s doctor closer to home — West Bloomfield. Not sure when I should make an appointment or how this works. Please advise :)

Thank you Kindly,

Hi K.,

While you still have time before delivery, you should meet with potential candidates for a pediatrician for your baby. We offer these visits for free, you just need to call our office and schedule a “new mom consult”. Your husband is welcome to accompany you to the visit. Our practice is located in Novi and West Bloomfield and we make newborn rounds at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital, so it looks like a perfect fit. However you may want to visit other pediatric offices as well.

Thank you for your interest and good luck!

Anna Strumba


2012 Mom Approved Doc, Officially

Thank you for voting me to the Metro Parent’s 2012 Mom Approved Docs! I received the following comment from one of the parents:

Dr. Strumba is very empathetic. Being a new mom, I have all kinds of worries and concerns, but she never makes me feel silly or brushes off questions I might have. Plus, she is a certified lactation consultant, which is a HUGE bonus, since I am a full-time nursing mom! My 11-month-old daughter has also not cried once while in her care. -– Sarah, Livonia

I have many other awards; the patient awards are the most precious of them all.


Change in a Boy

The patient was a seven-year-old boy, who came to see me with his mom. She said that he complained of sore throat two days prior and was “spitting up” the “phlegm”. She denied any fever, cough or vomiting up food. She was concerned that her son was not able to eat or drink anything for past two days. The boy was seen on the previous day by a different doctor who examined him and took a throat swab, which showed no strep. During our conversation the boy was sitting on the exam table with a paper cup constantly spitting his saliva in it. He was not coughing and did not appear to be in pain. It looked like he was not able to swallow his saliva. “Does he have an abscess in his throat?” I thought. To my surprise his exam was absolutely unremarkable. He mentioned that his “neck hurts”, and pointed to the front of the neck. I asked the youngster if he remembered choking on something, but got no response.

I advised mom to take him to get X-Ray of his neck and chest immediately, on a suspicion of a foreign body. She did and a quarter was found is his food pipe! The quarter was uneventfully removed by a surgeon at the University of Michigan Hospital.

The lesson that can be learned from this story? — Even older children are capable of doing silly things; if you are dealing with a little child, a possibility of a foreign body should be very high on your list.


Stool Questions

Parents often ask questions about their babies stool. So let’s discuss what is normal and what’s not.

Color. The stool is usually yellow in a breast-fed baby, greenish in a formula-fed one. When to worry? If you see blood, especially a lot of it. What to do? See your pediatrician.

Expected Frequency. Can be up to ten times a day in a breast-fed newborn; passing of the stool by a newborn is a sign of a good food intake. Babies should have at least one stool a day. There may be occasional healthy infant (not a newborn) that may have one stool in five days; this child is not constipated if he still acts happy and his bowel movements are soft and do not cause pain. When to worry? If your newborn baby (under one month of age) did not have a bowel movement for 48 hours; or, if your child does not have daily stools in general. What to do? It depends on your child’s age:

  • If you have a newborn with no bowel movements for 48 hours, see your pediatrician: your baby may be suffering from poor food intake rather than from constipation.
  • For an infant you can use a glycerin suppository (get it over the counter) cut in half: put it in your baby’s rectum and hold the butt cheeks together for a moment.
  • If an older child is constipated, you may try a glycerin suppository as well, or in tough cases a pediatric enema (also available over the counter). That will help you to relieve your child’s discomfort and help him pass the stool on that particular occasion, but it does not prevent future episodes. So it is strongly recommended to see your pediatrician and among other things discuss a change in your child’s diet you need to implement.

Normal Consistency. The stool is usually liquid with some “seeds” in a newborn and couple months after. If your child is older than 6 months he should be eating some solid food daily and his stools should be soft but not liquid. When to worry? Pellet-like stools in an infant. Older children should not have hard large caliber stools or watery stools. What to do? See a doctor.

The rule of thumb is: if your child eats well and is active during the day, there should not be any issues with his stool.


Raising Teenagers Roller Coaster

Photo by erin leigh mcconnell at flickr.

A joke goes: “Mothers of teenagers know why some animals eat their young.” But all the jokes apart, raising a teenager can be a stressful and psychologically draining experience. I know it first hand. I am in no way an expert on this matter, just want to share some thoughts.

In some way having a child between the age of 12 and 16 is alike to having a newborn. They keep you up at night, you are worried for their well-being at every moment and you feel exhausted. The difference between taking care of a baby and raising a teen is that with newborns, though they are fragile [Continue reading…]


When a Toddler Refuses to Sleep in His Crib

A crying child. Photo by tanya_little at flickr

A 20 month old boy presented in my office with a chief complaint of refusing to fall asleep in his crib. The parents said that whenever they put him in his bed and try to leave the room, he starts screaming until he works himself up to the point of vomiting. They heard many different suggestions from family, friends and their former pediatrician on how to handle the situation, and tried them all: from taking their child out of the crib after every sound he made to not coming into his room and letting him cry. Neither approach worked. By the time they they came to my office, their son was spending every night in their bed and the [Continue reading…]


Anna Strumba MD Receives 2011 Compassionate Doctor Recognition

Most Compassionate Doctor (2011)

It’s the second year in a row that Anna Strumba MD, a West Bloomfield/ Novi pediatrician and lactation consultant, has been recognized as one of America’s Most Compassionate Doctors. The award is based on patients’ reviews. “While physicians generally receive positive feedback from their patients, only a select few receive praise about the compassion that accompanied their care… Of the nation’s 720,000 active physicians, less than 3% were accorded this honor by their patients in 2011,” Vitals.com, who tabulates this award, says.

The Compassionate Doctor Recognition crowns the list of four other professional and patient awards that Anna [Continue reading…]


New Dad’s Survival Guide

Eye to Eye. Photo by adhocbot at flickr. Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

When a man becomes a father, he may feel lost and awkward about the task of caring for the baby. As much as he wants to be useful, the new dad does not know where to start and what to do. Considering that a new mom may not feel very upbeat and energetic after delivery and may be in pain or just sleep deprived and emotional, the first two weeks may be tough for the whole family. So what can dads do to make it easier for everyone in the family, including themselves?

The first and most important task is to [Continue reading…]


When to Suspect Pneumonia

Over the past two weeks I have noticed unusually frequent cases of pneumonia among children coming to my practice. Pneumonia has to be promptly treated with antibiotics: a recent study showed that in critically ill children with pneumonia, delays of even a few hours to treatment with the correct antibiotic increase risk for severe complications [1].

What is pneumonia and when should you suspect it? Pneumonia is an infection in the lung (or both lungs). It usually starts acutely with high fever and cough. Children with pneumonia look sick, they have decreased energy and appetite, they may vomit from cough and their breathing is fast and labored. Also pneumonia happens more often in kids who have history of asthma, since [Continue reading…]