Stroke Indicators

The possibility of someone you are with having a stroke is always there.  Knowing how to discern if it is actually a stoke is vital.  There are medications available in our country that can diminish the long term affects of stroke if administered with in a few hours of the incident.  Here are some simple ways to diagnose a stroke.  It is better to be safe than sorry.  If you believe someone is exhibiting one or more of these symptoms call an ambulance tor get them to an emergency room.  The medical staff will know what to do.

  1. Smile – Ask the person to smile – a stroke victim will have a crocked smile
  2. Ask them to speak a simple sentence -“chicken soup”.  If they garble the wording consistently there is a problem.
  3. Ask them to raise both arms at the same time.  If they can not do this easily there is a problem.
  4. Ask them to stick out their tongue – if the tongue is crocked there is a problem
  5. If someone has stumbled for no apparent reason check for others of these symptoms.

It is alway good to be aware of the people around us.  You would certainly appreciate it if someone did so for you or someone you love.  Lets take care of each other!!!


What Are You Feeding Your Baby????

European Baby Formula That Is Illegally Sold in the United States Carries Risks, Pediatricians Warn

HiPP, Holle and other brands are not registered with the F.D.A., but that hasn’t stopped parents from buying them from third-party vendors.

By Christina Caron and Jessica Grose

For Jessica Bates, 40, a first-time mother in Washington, D.C., it was an easy decision to stop feeding her 2-month-old son American infant formula and to switch to HiPP, a brand headquartered in Germany: Not only did her nanny recommend it to ease digestion, mothers were raving about European formulas on social media.

Buying HiPP online was also easy.

Deciphering the German label was not.

Ms. Bates and her husband could not understand the directions. Further complicating matters, they lost the scoop that came with the container. So they grabbed the scoop from a container of American formula, only to later learn it was larger than the scoop HiPP provided.

“Basically we made it too thick for him the first couple of times and he projectile vomited all over us and we were like, ‘Oh my God, what have we done?’”

They soon figured out the right ratio of powder to water. And even though each 500g container of organic HiPP formula cost nearly $40 — about 80 percent more than the organic American brand Earth’s Best — they stuck with it.

“I think in the moment I was just desperate to make things go as well as possible for him,” said Ms. Bates, who had struggled to breastfeed after her emergency C-section and ended up relying exclusively on formula. To her, the European formulas seemed “more natural,” she said — more like breastfeeding.

In searching for the best alternative to breastfeeding, some parents are turning to formulas produced by European brands like HiPP and Holle, which are assumed to be superior to those made by American companies. But according to representatives from HiPP, Holle and Töpfer, these products are not registered with the Food and Drug Administration and do not have official distribution channels in the United States. That means importing and selling these formulas in the United States is illegal, the F.D.A. said. But they are still entering the country via third-party vendors.

The potential dangers are numerous. Children can fall ill or become malnourished if parents inadvertently use an incorrect formula-to-water ratio; unofficial formula vendors may not store the powdered formula properly, raising the possibility of bacterial contamination, product deterioration or loss in nutrient density; there is no system in place to notify consumers in the United States if any of these formulas are recalled; and while many European formulas contain the nutrients required in the United States, some do not. In addition, parents in the United States may not realize that European formulas labeled hypoallergenic aren’t meant for children with cow’s milk allergies.

Dr. Steven Abrams, chair of the committee on nutrition at the American Academy of Pediatrics and director of the Dell Pediatric Research Institute in Austin, Tex., said he would “strongly discourage” parents from using formulas that aren’t regulated by the F.D.A.

Infant formula “has to be absolutely nutritionally complete and handled in a very safe way, from the moment of manufacture to the moment it gets into their house and into the baby,” Dr. Abrams said. “The laws and the rules exist for a reason. And that’s because even a single mistake in any of this will just have terrible outcomes for babies.”

Bypassing F.D.A. requirements

It is unclear whether any American infants have become ill after consuming European infant formula because products that are not registered with the F.D.A. are not monitored by the agency. However, in 2016 and 2017, the F.D.A. was notified of six adverse events linked to imported European formulas: three from HiPP, two from Holle and one from Lebenswert. The complaints included fever, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and salmonellosis. While there is no conclusive link between these products and the reported illnesses, the adverse events were concerning to Dr. Dina M. DiMaggio, the lead author of a recent study that compared European formulas with F.D.A labeling and nutrient requirements.

In the study, published in May in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Dr. DiMaggio and her colleagues contacted third-party vendors selling to United States consumers to determine their most popular European infant formulas. They then examined 14 of the most frequently purchased European powdered formulas imported into the United States, including ones distributed by HiPP, Holle, Lebenswert and Töpfer. None of the 14 formulas studied met all of the F.D.A.’s labeling requirements: nine of the formula labels, for example, were not written in English and 10 of the 14 formulas did not have all of the required nutrients listed on their labels.

“Parents should turn to their pediatricians to find out what’s the best formula,” she said. “We’re finding that that’s not the case. A lot of pediatricians don’t know that parents are using European formula.”

The study also noted another potential problem: European formulas labeled hypoallergenic, like HiPP HA Combiotik, contained partially hydrolyzed milk proteins. Although these proteins were once believed to prevent food allergy, they are not meant for children with cow’s milk allergies and would not be labeled hypoallergenic in the United States.

“In the U.S., for a formula to be considered hypoallergenic it has to undergo clinical research trials and be able to demonstrate that 90 percent of those with cow’s milk allergies will tolerate it,” said Marion Groetch, the director of nutrition services at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. These formulas, which are either extensively hydrolyzed or amino acid-based, are usually only available via prescription in Europe, Ms. Groetch added.

‘Parents are being misled’

The F.D.A. maintains a “red list” of international infant formulas that will be detained if they are imported into the United States because they fail to meet the F.D.A.’s nutrient and labeling requirements. It includes formulas from HiPP and Holle.

But third-party vendors keep bringing them into the country. The formulas can be found on eBay, European websites that ship to the United States and American websites that import the formula for commercial use despite the F.D.A.’s restrictions. And once this formula leaves a company’s official distribution channel, the “chain of control” is lost, said Dr. Anthony F. Porto, a pediatric gastroenterologist and associate professor of pediatrics at Yale University who was one of Dr. DiMaggio’s co-authors.

Holle’s website even includes a disclaimer for consumers in the United States.

“We regret that we are not able to address any of your concerns,” the website says, adding that if customers in the United States have purchased Holle from a retailer not listed on the company’s homepage, “kindly direct your inquiry at the retailer from whom you have purchased the product.”

The laws on infant formula importation are somewhat hazy. While Customs and Border Protection says on its website that commercial imports of baby formula require registration with the F.D.A., it also notes that “these requirements do not apply to food accompanying a traveler into the U.S. or sent by an individual to someone in the U.S.”

“I didn’t really care what the science said or nutritionally what was in there as long as he was taking it and it was sustaining him,” said Dr. Christina Garza, 40, who used Holle after her breastfed son developed blood in his stool. “There was all this pressure to produce this ‘pure’ food for my kid that wasn’t going to upset his digestive tract.”

Online testimonies expounding on the benefits of European formula are numerous — in some cases, the formulas are touted by bloggers who partner directly with the third-party sellers and profit from affiliate links.

Dr. DiMaggio and Dr. Porto became interested in European formulas after they noticed parents choosing to give their infants HiPP and Holle — and saw the brands popping up in conversations in Facebook parenting groups.

The HiPP & Holle Formulas Parent Support Community Facebook group, for example, has nearly doubled since last year and now has more than 10,000 members.

In a separate study presented in April at a national pediatrics conference, the two doctors collaborated with Dr. Nan R. Du, a pediatric resident at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, and other colleagues to survey 552 families at Pediatric Associates of NYC, a large private pediatric practice where Dr. DiMaggio works. Of the 372 families who used formula, 20 percent said they were currently using European infant formulas. The survey, which was conducted between November 2017 and March 2018, showed that the two most commonly used brands were HiPP and Holle, the researchers said.

White mothers with college degrees and household incomes greater than $200,000 were the ones most likely to use European infant formulas, according to the survey.

The families’ reasons for choosing European brands included the perception, perpetuated by blogs and social media groups, that European infant formulas contained higher-quality ingredients. In some respects, food safety standards for products sold in the European Union are stricter than those imposed by the F.D.A. But there’s no scientific evidence that imported European formulas are better for babies, pediatricians have said.

“Parents are being misled in their exhausted, 3-o’clock-in-the-morning-my-child’s-not-sleeping-Googling-state,” Dr. Porto said.

Buyer beware

Although the F.D.A. does not approve infant formulas, all formulas marketed in the United States must meet federal nutritional requirements.

Each of the European formulas in the May study met these requirements except for Töpfer Bio 1, which listed less than the F.D.A.-required amounts of vitamin A and copper, the study authors reported. The researchers also noted that they could not determine the levels of linoleic acid, a fatty acid that is important for brain development, for 10 of the 14 formulas because they were not listed on the manufacturer’s websites nor on the labels. Those that did include linoleic acid on the label had levels that fell within the accepted F.D.A. range.

Overall, the researchers’ main concern was not necessarily with the formulas’ composition, but with the way they are entering the country and how the labels are being interpreted.

If a formula were recalled in Europe, consumers in the United States would be unlikely to hear about it right away. The French dairy company Lactalis pulled more than 7,000 tons of potentially contaminated baby formula and other powdered milk products across more than 80 countries during 2017 and 2018. This year it issued another recall.

The European Union has been criticized for lax oversight of industrial food companies and weak reporting standards, especially since European governments generally allow food companies to self-report problems to regulators. In the Lactalis case, neither the company nor regulators identified the problems before they reached consumers.

One centralized place to find recall information in Europe is the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed consumer portal, but it does not disclose the names of companies or brands. Those can be found in the alerts generated by each country.

Routine monitoring of powdered infant formula is especially important because powdered formulas cannot be sterilized and are at risk for contamination.

“If you’re getting them from the internet, you don’t know where they’ve been stored, you don’t know how they’ve been transported,” Ms. Groetch said. “You don’t know whether they’re going to last until their expiration date if they’ve been held at very high heat.”

Felix Kurichithanam, a spokesman for Holle, said the company is making plans to register with the F.D.A. and enter the American market in 2020. It aims to make its formula available in brick-and-mortar stores and also online through the company’s distribution channel, currently not available in the United States.

Are European formulas any better?

According to Dr. Abrams, the United States has such a wide variety of infant formulas there’s no need to purchase it from Europe.

“There isn’t something magical about these European formulas. Every single type of formula that they have there exists in numerous different versions in the United States,” he said.

Parents who are looking for organic formula or formula derived from grass-fed cows can find those options in the United States as well, he said, although there is no research to suggest that those types of formula aremore nutritious.

“It’s not like you’re buying cow milk off the shelf,” Dr. Abrams said. “All these formulas, especially the partial hydrolysates, are heavily processed. What the cow’s eating doesn’t really affect much of anything.”

Some babies tolerate certain formulas better than others, so it’s common for parents to experiment a bit to find the best one — especially if their child appears to be uncomfortable.

Dr. Garza, whose son was experiencing gastrointestinal distress, used American formulas before discovering that her son seemed to like Holle better.

“Even as someone who’s trained in evidence-based medicine — you know what? If it’s working anecdotally for someone and it will get me sleep and my kid will not be pooping blood, I’ll try it,” she said.

But Dr. Abrams cautioned parents to first speak with their pediatricians and try a brand that is registered with the F.D.A. rather than a European brand sold by a third-party vendor.

“There simply is not any suggestion of a health benefit that is provided by these formulas that is not provided by a U.S. formula,” he said.

Stress and Life With Little Ones

I am reminded of this issue again through many recent incidences in my practice.  Learning how to diagnose stress in your life, and conquer it is a must.  Unless you are better than most, you live in a stressed out home where way too much activity is the norm.  You and your spouse require more of yourselves and each other than is humanly possible.  The problem is sooner or later something has to give.  Either you will be upset with yourselves or each other.  It is a huge discipline to avoid this madness.  It takes work!

On a regular basis your family needs to assess this issue.  The goal, peace and rest in your relationship and your home.  Your children are learning about life as they watch you.  Help them learn how to manage their lives wisely.  Slow down when you realize you are over extended.  Evaluate the important things, say “No” to other activities when you need time together as a family.  Learn how to read the signs in yourself.  Are you easily upset? Does the thought of another activity sound awful?  Do you miss just sitting the the backyard or park chatting with a friend while the kids entertain themselves?

When my kids were little the only time I found myself screaming at them was when I had too many responsibilities on my plate.  I stressed myself out through over commitment, and then was frustrated with the situation.  Little ones could not keep up with the schedule I created, so I took my frustration out on them.  Not O.K..

Take time to listen to your little ones.  Sit on the floor and look at them eye to eye.  Cuddle with them, hold them in you lap as you read them their favorite book.  This relaxed calm time is vital to them and you.  As much as possible push away the frantic pace our world accepts and enjoy these moments with your kids.  They are irreplaceable for you both.

Homeopathic Remedy for Infant Gas Symptoms

Anise tea has long been a homeopathic remedy for infants struggling with symptoms of digestive gas.  For the majority of newborns the first three months of life involve gas pains.  Their digestive tracks simply take time to acclimate to life outside the womb.  In many cultures tea made by adding boiling water to crushed Anise seeds, and letting it steep, brings relief.

There are many suggestions on line for how to manage this.  There are also differing opinions on the topic.  Using anise tea once a day for a few days should not be a problem.   This is not something you would continually use over time.  You could occasionally add it to baby’s bottle to avoid possible gas pains.  I would only use it to relieve gas symptoms as they are occurring.  The ratio I am aware of is 1/2 teaspoon crushed anise seeds to 2 cups boiling water.  Prepare the tea, store it in the refrigerator.  Add 2 teaspoons tea to two ounces of formula or breastmilk.

Please read the following articles to answer your questions.  This information was passed on to me from a new mom whose mother used this remedy for her and her siblings.  Grandma said to use this once a day, sparingly.  Do not overmedicate your baby!!       JUDY


Tea vs Coffee, Health Benefits of Both

The age old discussion of tea vs coffee has been raging.  Those on each side of the argument have their opinions.  Science has found good things in both concoctions.   The bottom line is which do you like best?  This discussion surfaced in my research to discover whether hot tea is better for you than cold!

Enjoy,  JUDY

Below find several articles on the subject.  Please share any you have found helpful.


10 Benefits of Drinking Tea Over Coffee.    Chris Haigh

Writer, baker, co-host of “Good Evening Podcast” and “North By Nerdwest”.


Cold Tea Vs Hot Tea Health Benefits


13 Reasons Tea Is Good for You

Tea or coffee? Consider these health benefits of tea and the next time you have to choose, you may skip the joe

By Laura Newcomer |   Sept. 04, 2012


What Are the Benefits of Drinking Tea Hot Vs. Cold?

By Krista Sheehan


The Myth of Month 4 Sleep Regression

This is a controversial position, to say the least!  The buzz is: there is now and has always been 4 month sleep regression.  You can buy books, watch videos, and fret about it earnestly.  However, this is a new diagnosis.  No one heard of 4 month sleep regression until very recently.  Why?

My motto for mothering is “Don’t borrow trouble.”  This encourages one to look at the problem and deal with it rather than looking ahead for problems that might surface.  New parents are faced with so many new things they need to do to succeed.  It frustrates me that the infant supply industry would take advantage of these folks.  I would rather make things simple than complicate them.

If a baby is having sleeping trouble lets figure out the problem.  This gives new parents a feeling of success and hope.  It helps them see themselves as in control rather than victims of unwinable trials.

In order to evaluate this lets look at the circumstances surrounding most infants at four months of age.  If a mother is going to return to work this is usually when her maternity leave is over.  Perhaps there has been an illness in the nuclear family.  Maybe the family has had to switch living venues or locations.  How does this affect a baby?  How does it affect mommy and the rest of the family?  What other factors apply?

Mommy returning to work can be a huge emotional conflict for her.  If she has enjoyed her time with baby, passing this torch on to another is difficult.  This situation in her heart affects baby.  She has to interview others with the intent of having them replace her in caring for her child.  That is a tough thing to go through.  If she is unable to find suitable help she struggles.  There are the financial ramifications, concerns for the safety of her baby, scheduling issues, and on and on.  Just talking about it brings up stress.

There are not many ways in an infants life that things like this can be expressed.  Baby can’t talk about it even though he feels it.  Thus, baby, who may have been doing well in sleeping, finds it disrupted.  Understanding why this happens in your baby’s life gives you the ability to resolve it.  There are many options for streamlining such issues and helping mommy and baby find peace.

In an effort not to overwhelm this audience I will not approach other issues in this entry!  Please share you thoughts.  My hope is to serve and learn through this blog!

Articles on Sleep Regression to follow


FYI: Tomorrow, September 4th….

The Costco coupon booklet came out they week!  For those of you who use Huggies little snuggles diapers there is a $9 off deal!!!  The newborn package has 124 diapers and a package of wipes for $29.99 before the price savings!   This deal will run from September 4th through September 29th.  I encourage you to stock up, remember to purchase larger sizes for later!  If you do not have a Costco card, find a friend or relative who does.  They can purchase your diapers and you can give them cash or a check on the spot.

Happy Saving,  JUDY

Making the Best of the Chaos

As I observe more of life I encourage the families with whom I work to find peace in the business and chaos of raising little ones.  Life is messy, this is a given.  No matter how well we plan or consider “stuff happens”!!!!  We can not stay on top of everything.  The true magic to life is learning to find peace in the middle of the “crazy”.  For new mommies I encourage planning a few moments each day ‘just for you’.  It might be reading a chapter in you favorite book, a walk to the park, time on the phone with a dear friend, sister, relative, planting flowers, a bubble bath…..  What ever it is for you, plan it into your day!

The following words of Mother Theresa inspire thoughts of peace.  They encourage us to look past the disappointments in life and do our very best anyway!!   I pray they bless and encourage you on your path as much as they have me!

Best Wishes as you travel,   JUDY


Words of Wisdom for Life!

These words of wisdom are attributed to Mother Theresa                                                           an AlbanianIndian[4] Roman Catholic nun and missionary.

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.                                            Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.                                          Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends, and some genuine enemies.                                                                                                                                                 Be successful anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you                                                              Be honest and sincere anyway.

If you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.                                                  Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, others may be jealous.                                                         Be happy anyway.

The good you do today will often be forgotten.                                                                              Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it may never be enough.                                                                 Give your best anyway.

 In the final analysis, it is between you and God.                                                                              It was never between you and them anyway.



Bath Tub Safety For Your Toddler

Our family grew from one child to five in nine years.  Bath tub time was a hoot.  When you youngest was two I would adhere his bath tub chair to the bottom of the tub, fill the tub with warm water to his tummy, and let his siblings hop in and out to get clean.  Our youngest loved being the center of attention and the bath buddy.  Here are a few simple and creative ways to provide safety and comfort for you and your infant or toddler while bathing.  Hope you find them helpful!!!    JUDY

Never leave baby alone anywhere near a body of water!!!!!




Summer Infant My Bath Seat

Available at Target for $40

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This gismo adheres to the sides of the tub to hold baby in safely.  Put a few inches of warm water in the tub and baby has a fun time sitting in the chair playing with his toys.  (Never leave baby alone anywhere near a body of water)


Tummy Time is Great Developmental Tool for Your Baby!

Tummy Time is a must for the timely physical development of your baby.  You can begin tummy time as early as you wish.  It is not a negative.  It will help develop your baby’s core muscles, neck strength, and roll over capability.  Baby’s who practice tummy time consistently will roll over, sit up and crawl earlier than babies who do not.

You can put your immobile baby on her tummy on a sofa while you sit on the floor.  Your faces will be at the same level.  You can talk and laugh with baby, encouraging her to lift her head and enter act with you.  Quickly she will understand the game and participate.

Another way to have tummy time is for the two of you to lay down on the floor while baby is on her tummy on a blanket.  Again, you are at her level.  The two of you can participate together.  Baby will want to see you and will work on her neck muscles to lift her head.  So much fun!!                   JUDY

8 Tummy Time Tips for Your Baby

WebMD Feature.    By Barbara Brody.   Reviewed By Roy Benaroch, MD   WebMD Home  Health & Parenting Center  Health & Baby Center A Guide to Your Baby’s Sleep and Naps                                                               A Guide to Your Baby’s Sleep and Naps

As a new parent, you have no doubt been told by your doctor to always put your baby on his back every time he sleeps or naps. So you might not realize that it’s also important for your little one to spend some time on his belly while wide awake.

“Tummy time is when your infant lays on his (or) her stomach while supervised,” says Wendy Wallace, DO, a pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Care Network.

If your baby is always on his back, he might get a flat spot on his head. That’s mostly a cosmetic issue, and one that tends to go away over time. But it might also mean that his head, neck, and shoulder muscles aren’t getting enough exercise. Tummy time is the fix.

When your baby is on his belly, he has to look up, left, and right to see people and objects. Moving his head around helps his skull round out, as well as strengthens his neck, shoulders, and trunk. Later on, these muscles will let him sit up. Eye muscles also get stronger as your little one looks around during tummy time.

Some tots seem to love playing on their tummies. Others might act like they can’t stand it. Keep trying! There are many things you can do to help your baby get comfortable and even have fun in this position.

  1. Go slow.   Some infants will only tolerate a few minutes of tummy time in the beginning. That’s perfectly normal.
  2. Move to his level.   “Tummy time can initially be scary because it’s new,” Wallace says. “Getting down on the ground and doing face-to-face encouragement will reassure a baby that he can do it and it’s OK.”
  3. Use plastic mirrors.   Your baby will probably lift his head to admire his reflection.
  4. Put the baby on your tummy or chest.   Newborns love to lay on a parent and gaze up at their face, Wallace says.
  5. Involve a sibling.   If you have an older child, encourage him to get down on the floor and play with his little brother or sister (while an adult is supervising).
  6. Work it into other activities.   Put your baby on his tummy while you dry him after a bath, smooth on lotion, or burp him (across your lap).
  7. Sing or tell a story.   He’ll raise his head and move around when he hears your voice. Remember to make eye contact, too.
  8. Offer extra support.   Make a bolster out of a thin towel or blanket. Roll it up, put it under your baby’s chest, and stretch his arms forward and over the roll. Be careful to keep his chin, mouth, and nose away from the bolster.