When to Suspect Pneumonia

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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 [Continue reading…]

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Welcome to the Expectant Parents

You are expecting a baby. Congratulations! This is such a special time in your life. You may have researched a wealth of books and online resources about what to expect after baby’s arrival. You probably feel more and more excited, and anxious, as you get closer to the due date.

I am always happy to meet expectant mothers or couples coming to my office for a first interview. The fact that you took the time to come and meet me shows that you truly care about the future baby. I will highlight some practical points that may be important to you in the first weeks after birth:

Your baby will be seen by a pediatrician who will come to the [Continue reading…]

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Ads on This Site

We started displaying ads on this site. Running a website costs money, all coming from my family’s budget. I am not reimbursed for these expenses by my employer or anybody else. One way to offset the costs is to display paid ads on the site, so the ads are here to stay.

Hopefully, those ads promote legitimate, quality products of interest to you. The ads are “context sensitive” and should be generally relevant to the topics I cover in my posts (kids health, breastfeeding, parenting, family, etc.) and to the audience of this site (to you, new [Continue reading…]

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Dr. Strumba Is Now an IBCLC

Hurray! I have achieved a certification and a title of an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). My full name became a bit longer: Anna Strumba MD, FAAP, IBCLC.

One may wonder, “why would a doctor want to become a lactation consultant?” In my work as a pediatrician I frequently have to take care of the babies that are breastfed. In fact, in most situations that means to take care of both: baby and mother. For the baby to be growing and thriving, the mother has to know how to latch and nurse in a [Continue reading…]

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Breastfeeding Counseling and Supplies Free under Affordable Care Act

A symbol of a mother nursing a child

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the new guidelines that require health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services such as breastfeeding support, well-woman visits, domestic violence screening, and contraception without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible. New health plans will need to include these services without cost sharing for insurance policies with plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2012.

What a great news! The visits to the Providence Park Hospital’s Breastfeeding Clinic will become most affordable for all mothers.

Coincidentally and very appropriately, the announcement has been issued on the first day of [Continue reading…]

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2011 Mom Approved Doc, Officially

Metro Parent Mom-Approved Doc Award (2011)

Thank you for voting me to the Metro Parent’s 2011 Mom Approved Docs! I was so humbled to receive the following comment from one of the parents:

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. My son had an ongoing health issue, and she gave us contacts for the specialists and made phone calls to those doctors to give information and receive updates. – Michelle, Troy

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Potty Training: You Are Bound to Succeed at Some Point

Lisa Doublestein recently approached me with a request for an interview for the May, 2011 issue of Start Early, Finish Strong, a publication of Wayne RESA Early Childhood Services. Below is the article that resulted from that interview, reproduced here by permission.

Q: My mother thinks I should be potty-training my 2-year-old, but I just don’t have time to do it right now! I want to wait until he’s 3. Am I waiting too long?

A: There are many stories in parenting circles about parents who potty train their kids in one day, or kids who simply decide to start using the potty. But for most families, potty training takes time [Continue reading…]

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Toddlers Should Ride Rear-Facing to Age 2

The American Academy of Pediatrics released the new, 2011 policy on car seats. The biggest change from the previous policy is that parents are now advised to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. The recommendation is supported by new research showing that children under age 2 are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding rear-facing.

The previous policy, from 2002, cited age 12 months and 20 pounds as a minimum to ride forward-facing. As a result, many parents turned the seat to face the front of the car when their child celebrated his [Continue reading…]

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Starting Solid Foods

To many new mothers feeding babies anything but the breast milk or formula can be a difficult task. Parents often have questions regarding what to start with and how much to give and how often and what to stay away from.

In reality it is not as complicated as it seems to be. Here some simple rules.

You may start solids between 5 and 6 months of babies age. Pick the time of the day when your baby has the best disposition and appetite, and give solids BEFORE you give the bottle or your breast. Start with a single ingredient food: powdered rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula that your baby is used to. If your baby has [Continue reading…]

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Attending the Lactation Specialist Course

Women have been helping other women breastfeed for millennia. As a pediatrician and as a woman I daily work together with mothers to prevent and solve breastfeeding problems. I feel it will be only appropriate for me to seek the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) credential. Next week (the week of November 1, 2010) I will be out of town attending an intensive 5-day Lactation Specialist Course offered by Lactation Education Consultants. This course qualifies participants for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) certification exam.

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