The Husband Stitch


The scary truth behind the husband stitch and what this represents.

Preventing tearing, or repairing tears or episiotomies from birth is a key part of helping a woman recover post childbirth. At a time when post-natal care and the mother's health is paramount, an antiquated procedure known as the 'husband stitch' is still being performed on women after childbirth.

What is the 'husband stitch?'

Referred to as the 'daddy stitch' or 'husband stitch,' it's an extra stitch given to women in the repair process after a vaginal birth. The idea behind this is to tighten the vaginal opening for the purpose of the increased sexual pleasure of a male partner. Administered immediately after childbirth when a new mother is too emotionally and physically exhausted to make an informed decision, the 'husband stitch' often has painful consequences for women well after childbirth.

In today's day and age, it can be hard to fathom that this kind of practice still takes place - a practice that shifts the focus of medical care from the patient for the benefit of a third party. Some have wondered if it's an urban myth but, unfortunately for some women, the 'husband stitch' has been administered in recent years raising questions about how far we have actually come in progressing a woman's right to choose what she does with her own body.

Adjusting to motherhood

Adjusting to motherhood is a monumental change. Not only has your body changed but the time after childbirth brings up a flood of emotion, and learning as you adjust to motherhood and let your body recover. At a time when looking after yourself is just as important as looking after your new baby, some women don't even realise or know that they may have had the 'husband stitch' until painful experiences long after childbirth.

While there haven’t been scientific studies to determine exactly how many women have been affected by the 'husband stitch', the growing number of anecdotes from women act as a word of warning to be diligent and careful about the medical professionals who look after you post childbirth.

As outlined in a recent article on Healthline.com, Tamara Williams, a 27-year old mother from La Marque, Texas recalls how she felt before, during, and after realising she had been given an extra stitch. Williams found out she had been given an extra stitch following her 2015 birth when her boyfriend mentioned it. Her boyfriend mentioned he thought Williams had heard the midwife saying she would 'throw in an extra stitch for him.'

Williams had been on such a 'baby high' after the birth that she had no memory of the midwife making that statement. Now, knowing that she was given the 'husband stitch' Williams wrestled with emotional pain while dealing with continued pain during sex even after the birth of her second child.

What actually happens to a women's body in childbirth?

Going through pregnancy and a vaginal childbirth can put a strain on your pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a collection of muscles, ligaments and tissues that stretch across the pelvic bones. The pelvic floor supports your pelvic organs including the womb (uterus), vagina, bladder, and bowels.

As the muscles in your pelvic floor become stretched during pregnancy and childbirth, they may weaken. This makes strengthening your pelvic floor muscles fundamental for healing your body post-childbirth. Strengthening this area of your body helps you to maintain bladder and bowel control while enhancing the feeling and senses in your vagina after childbirth. Focusing on strengthening this area with your own health as the priority will contribute to helping you heal after childbirth and enjoy a healthy sex life as you choose.

What the 'husband stitch' represents

With the emotional adjustments that come with being a new mother, and the physical changes to a women's body that occur in childbirth, another misguided part of the 'husband stitch' is the lack of understanding and knowledge of a woman's body that this procedure represents. The idea of the 'husband stitch' demonstrates the belief that some medical professionals think the strength of a woman's reproductive region, for the purpose of pleasing a sexual partner, is only conducive to a single stitch in an area that fundamentally has nothing to do with the health of a woman's pelvic floor. Further, it shows a lack of understanding of a woman's body and goes against the principles of providing medical care focused solely on a birthing mother herself.

The strength of the pelvic floor is what helps women maintain bladder and bowel control, particularly after childbirth. This is what helps a woman recover and enjoy a healthy sex life after childbirth, not surface level procedures such as the 'husband stitch' that aren't focused on the health and recovery of a new mother.

While this procedure is concerning, it serves as a reminder to be diligent when you are in the process of deciding on which medical professionals will help you through your pregnancy, childbirth, and post-natal care. From the anecdotal evidence recounting the painful experiences of the 'husband stitch,' ensuring medical professionals are just as invested in your health as you are will have a positive impact on your health years after childbirth.

Going against the surgical principles of healing for a new mother, the practice of the 'husband stitch' represents the dark undercurrent of misogyny that is perhaps still alive in the medical profession today - an undercurrent that, as we become more educated about these issues, will hopefully begin to fade.


With a keen interest in holistic health and wellness, Nicola Smith works with clients in the health and wellness industry providing copy that engages audiences and helps businesses grow. Her goal is to help people have a holistic approach to their health, and inspire others to simplify their lives, pack a suitcase, and book a ticket to somewhere they've always wanted to visit or live. You can also follow her adventures on Instagram @luggagelifestyle.

Family's Professional Photos Delivered with a Hilarious Twist



We've all invested in something that didn't pan out to be as great as we thought it would be... big or small, there's something most parents have looked back on and wished they could have a do-over. For Pam and Dave Zaring of Missouri, it may be their most recent family photos. After Pam says she went many months upset because their "professional" photographs were not being given to them, the portraits finally arrived in the mail. And what she found is worth a whole lot of good hearted belly laughs -- at least $250.00 worth.

"This is NOT a joke," Pam shared with her Facebook friends in a public post. "She said the shadows were really bad [...] and that her professor never taught her to retouch photos."

The internet is ablaze with laughter over the finished product, that the photographer added her copyright watermark to, saying she "stands by her work" and the funds will not be returned.

As of this writing, the family has yet to receive their original photographs.




How to Support Your Creative Child


Children tend to have powerful imaginations and strong innovation skills from a very young age. Creativity helps kids become more confident, develop their social skills, and encourages learning in every subject. In fact, studies have shown that creativity offers a wealth of emotional, intellectual, and even health benefits. As children, most of us were more in touch with our creative sides than we are as adults – school, exams, college, and working in the corporate world aren’t always conducive to creativity. As a parent, there are several things that you can do to support your child with their imagination and creativity.

#1. Design a Creative Space for Them:

Chances are, your child has a few creative hobbies that they enjoy taking part in. For example, if they enjoy drawing and painting, you might want to consider setting up a small art studio at your home for them. If they’re obsessed with movies and want to start making their own, a desk where they can learn how to put clips together with a simple-to-use movie editor, decorated with their favorite movie posters, could inspire them to pursue a career in the entertainment industry as an adult. The space doesn’t have to be elaborate – a playroom or corner with some gadgets and hands-on toys such as LEGO is a great idea.

#2. Allow for Free Time:

It’s just as important to give your child some free time for themselves. After they’ve completed their homework, for example, allowing them an hour or two to please themselves with creative play is a great way to keep their imagination stimulated. If you can, let your child decide what they’d like to do with their free time – this could be anything from going to the beach to collect pebbles to paint, to building models of their favorite planes and cars.

#3. Discuss Creativity:

Talking to your child about their ideas and encouraging them to pursue their creative dreams is a great way to keep their flow going. Ask your kids when they come up with their best ideas – maybe it’s when they’re in the car for a long journey, or when walking to school. Give them a notepad for these moments, so that if they’re unable to act on their creative ideas straight away, they can write it down to save it for later.

#4. Encourage Your Own Creativity:

Since many kids learn by following their parents’ lead, seeing you getting creative will certainly encourage them to stay in touch with their own creative juices. Take the time to discuss your own creative ideas with your child and ask them for their opinion. When your child is coloring, building or creating, join them and offer your help and ideas. Even if you don’t class yourself as a very creative person, getting involved with your child’s ideas can be hugely encouraging to them.

Creative kids tend to develop better both emotionally and intellectually and getting creative can have a huge positive impact on their physical and social skills.


Camping Time: 7 bedding options for your kids this summer


Ah! The annual family camping trip is often a blissful time where even if those little devils smuggled it on the trip, technology never works! With the ebb and flow of the river and the sweet sounds of nature, it is sure to be a trip to remember. But you don't want the trip to be memorable because no one slept well. Our little ones can be fussy about where they sleep and there are not many easy sleeping options so without further ado, here are some bedding options for your kids this summer!

Camping cots

Camping cots are a good option because they are narrow so you can fit more of them in the tent and they are close to the ground so your kids won't hurt themselves if they fall from it. The con is that it is quite low to the ground so it could pose mobility issues getting in and out of it.

Sleeping bags

Sleeping bags make great space savers as you can pack them in your child's bag. They are good as they require little setup and allow your children to have a cozy sleep. A con of sleeping bags is that sleeping on the ground could cause neck or back discomfort and the child may not be able to regulate their temperature while in the sleeping bag.

Folding mattress

Folding mattresses are good for the more fussier child as they mimic their bed at home and allow them that little bit of familiar comfort in what can sometimes be a scary environment. Folding mattresses are a great way to bring creature comforts with you but they don't always come assembled, lack instructions and can sometimes collapse.

Air mattress

If you don't want to lug a folding mattress on your next camping trip, then why not take an air bed, they are compact, lightweight and offer your child a fun nights sleep wriggling around on them and keeping the whole tent up! Just make sure you don't forget the pump! The obvious cons of any air mattress are their ability to deflate during the night and they could be punctured easily.

Self-inflating mattresses

Self-inflation mattresses are a good idea as you require no tools or pump to assemble and it allows your children some responsibility for themselves on the journey. As above remember these things can deflate easily and sometimes have a maximum weight level to them. So they may not work for sleeping more than one child.

All in one bed

This is self-explanatory basically the bed looks like a sleeping back attached to a bed. While they can be bulky again if it keeps your kid happy and quiet then what else matters. On a plus side, you don't have to lug blankets with you on the trip. The con to these is obviously how bulky they are and also the fact that your child could overheat as the blankets are stitched on. Moreover, if they had an accident it may be difficult to clean them.

Carp Fishing Beds

These little babies are amazing because they have adjustable legs to allow for a restful and safe sleep on an uneven surface. So if your child wants to sleep by the river bed then no harm no foul! As a con, the mattresses on these beds are very thick and they are very expensive. You could make the same kind of bed for less using a stretcher.

There are many options out there for your next camping trip so just do your research and even let your child help you pick the right bed for them to ensure a happy and safe camping trip this summer!


Things you should know about postpartum depression

The thought that you cannot care for your baby efficiently can be disturbing. After waiting to hold your baby for nine long months, the last thing you want is to have postpartum depression. This state is powerful and can last for some time. Mothers who suffer from this illness find it hard to care for their babies. This is due to the feelings that accompany this illness. There are one or two things that you don’t know about this postpartum depression. Read on to find out more.


It can start during pregnancy or after birth

While everyone expects the condition to kick off soon after birth, postpartum depression can begin during pregnancy. The symptoms can also begin in during the three months of birth.

Women are at risk

According to studies, women who have a family record of anxiety or mood or depression are at a higher risk of developing PPD. Also, those who suffer significant mood-related changes associated with menstrual cycles are at risk. Those who have experienced postpartum depression in their previous pregnancy have a significant chance of having it again. This means, if you have had PPD before, you need to take precautions early. Women and teenagers who are financially unstable, also have a significant risk of developing PPD.

It is difficult to discuss

The feeling to express happiness is overwhelming and thus making it hard to address the condition. Most women find it hard to express themselves or experience the joy they anticipated to have with the little ones. You will not enjoy the birth of the baby.

It is treatable

While some women don’t get treated for this condition, you can get treatment if you identify that you need help. A mixture of psycho-treatment and anti-depressant can healing can be a slow process, but you will eventually get better in three or four months. You can get help from people who are qualified in treating postpartum depression. Alternatively, you may seek help from a postpartum depression foundation. Many PPD foundations offer support to the sufferers.

You can be a good mother

Even with the condition, you can be a good mother and wife. This can be achieved by having supportive people around you. People who have partners with PPD should learn how to assist and support their partners. This can help PPD patients to feel they belong to the family and they are no less than other women without the condition.

Conclusion

If you are suffering from PPD, just know you are not alone. There are several women out there who are suffering like you. But the good news is that you can get help from the experts. You should also know that even symptoms are not the same for all women. One of the common sign of this condition is that you will feel disconnected from your little one. Other women also experience disorientation, fogginess, and Barnes. Others also have their sleeping pattern altered. In case you feel these symptoms, seek medical help right away.


Fun and Simple Activities for Introducing Kids to Their Environment


Children become more active as they reach a certain age. Depending on when your children learn to walk, their exploration instincts kick in at a certain age and they become more curious about their surroundings. Teaching kids how to interact with their environment is an essential process to complete at this stage.

You don’t have to resort to boring lessons to help kids become more familiar with their environment. Certain activities, games, and even adventures will help them pick up the knowledge and skills they need while having a lot of fun along the way.

Trampoline-Jumping

Trampolining, or jumping on a trampoline, is one of the most fun things to do. Even as adults, we often imagine what it would be like to have a giant trampoline and some time to just let loose and have fun. Your kids will find the activity extremely exciting, plus they will be exposed to the elements while they have a lot of fun.

First, you need a good trampoline. Fortunately, you are not alone when it comes to choosing a trampoline. There are reviews and other resources on Trampolinefirst.com that will help you find the perfect one to pick up in no time. You also have user reviews and testimonials to go through.

Make sure the trampoline is installed properly for maximum safety. You want the kids to have fun early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is not too hot. This way, you don’t have to worry about excessive heat and exposure to UV rays.


Hiking Adventures

We normally think of a long trip to the mountains when talking about hiking. In reality, hiking doesn’t have to be all that complicated. A simple walk through a trail that you create yourself in the park can be rewarding enough. Share the experience with the kids and you have a winner.

A short hiking trip will arouse a child’s curiosity. They will start admiring birds, tree branches, and other details around them. Don’t rush through the experience. Answer every question patiently and let the children take in the experience to the fullest.

If you have older children, sharing a hiking trip is also worth considering. The extra challenges and more exposure to the elements are good for them and their learning experience.

Backyard Camping

Yes, spending some time outside during the evening is also highly recommended. Schedule a camping night and have a lot of fun sharing a barbeque, exchanging stories, playing camping games, and doing other things.

Since it is camping in the backyard, there is no need to worry about preparing things. A tent and some basic camping equipment are all you need; besides, you can always come into the house once you are done for the evening. You’ll be surprised by how excited the children will be when learning about the stars.

Pick any of these activities and help your children get to know their surroundings better. It is an exercise you will certainly enjoy.


KEEPING OUR AIR CLEAN FOR OUR CHILDREN


The world is not a gift from our ancestors but is instead a loan from our children. This is why it is vital to ensure that our children get to breathe in air that is clean and healthy. Today, the environment is quite polluted. Contaminants in the air are more common than ever. This is detrimental to everyone’s health; however for children with their weaker immune systems, it is an even bigger cause for concern.

Parents may try to shield their kids from all sorts of danger, including the health hazards that can be caused by breathing in unclean air, however, they can’t control everything. Fortunately, now with products like air purifiers, parents can at least ensure that the air inside their home is clean and safe.

Some statistics show that indoor air might actually contain more contaminants and pollutants than outdoor air. This is because nature has a natural way of purifying the air through plants and vegetation. However, inside the homes, this is not the case. Which is why a lot of care needs to be taken in ensuring that the air that you and your children breath inside your home is suitable for healthy living.

Here are some of the benefits of clean air in homes and tips on how you can achieve this.

Helps with Asthma and Allergies

The symptoms of asthma and allergies can be aggravated due to airborne irritants. If these irritants are removed from the air, then children and adults alike will find some relief from their allergies or other respiratory conditions. Moreover, even children who do not have any allergies or asthma can benefit from clean air. This is because the dust and impurities in the air can cause irritation and inflammation in the nasal passage and the rest of the respiratory system.

Improved Digestion and Other Bodily Functions

For most of us, breathing is simply a process we do all the time which is why it is rarely given the importance or the attention it deserves. However, the truth of the matter is that without ample supply of oxygen that the body receives through breathing, the body will not be able to perform all the bodily functions optimally. For example, digestion. Clean oxygen in ample supply is required to keep the muscles in the digestive track contracting and relaxing rhythmically. Without it, the food will not be broken down or utilized properly by the body. If the air is impure and unclean, the amount of oxygen that the body receives with each breath decreases. Moreover, clean air and oxygen are vital for the growth and development of children.


Improved Mood, Emotional Intelligence, and Cognitive Abilities

Are your children moody, grumpy or blue a little too often? The air in your home might be the culprit. Clean and fresh air is strongly linked to improved mood, emotional intelligence, and cognitive ability. In fact, some neuroscientists have even linked clean and fresh air with improved brain function. All of these things are extremely important for the growth and development of children.

Long and Healthy Life

Breathing in the impure air for prolonged periods can cause a buildup of contaminants and irritants in the respiratory system. This can lead to several diseases, many of which can even prove to be chronically dangerous for both children and adults alike. These diseases include emphysema and bronchitis. Therefore, by providing our children with clean air, parents can ensure that their children live longer and healthier lives, free of such diseases and conditions.

How to Get Clean Indoor Air?

The benefits of clean air are many, and fortunately, it is quite easy to rake in these benefits. By following just a few simple steps, you can dramatically improve the quality of the air inside your house.

Air purifiers are a simple and effective way to achieve exactly what their name suggests- pure air. The top air purifiers come in a variety of designs and can be installed in different ways, however, one of the most effective ways is to install an air purifier so that it works in tandem with your home’s cooling or heating systems.

Apart from this, getting your house inspected for mold is a good idea, as this can also contaminate the air. Moreover, ensure that you regularly vacuum the house to get rid of the dust particles and allergens, avoid smoking in the house, and invest in some indoor plants. The plants will improve the oxygen levels in the air in your home.


Sources: 

http://www.bobjenson.com/blog/6-benefits-good-indoor-air-quality/

https://greenairenv.com/blog/3-benefits-of-clean-air-on-children/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-fix-indoor-air-pollution_us_59e0cc85e4b03a7be58012b1

The Art of Teaching Kids to Fly Fish


For anglers who understand and agree with the need for conservation, investing the time and patience needed to teach children to fly fish is returned tenfold when children discover, and take to, the beauty, grace, and challenges of the sport by becoming lifelong fly fishermen. So, even though having more fly fishermen in the world is kind of a “catch 22” since more fly fishermen means more fishing pressure, it also means more conservationists and, the more conservationists we have, the more likely we are to be able to keep our local trout streams pristine and accessible to the public. However, teaching children to fly fish is not an easy task even for an experienced fly fishing instructor but, there are certain things that are helpful to both know and practice when teaching children to fly fish that will undoubtedly make your efforts more successful.

10 Helpful Tips for Teaching Kids to Fly Fish 

1. Have the patience of Job 

For those of you who are not familiar with the story, Job was a character in the Christian Bible who endured a seemingly endless series of trials administered by God but, because Job remained loyal through it all, he was handsomely rewarded in the end. So, when teaching kids to fly fish, the first requirement is to have the patience of Job! The reason for this is that kids are either intensely interested in fly fishing or they are not and, if they are, then they will want to learn from you but, if they are not, then nothing you can do will engage their attention.

2. Make it fun for them

This tip is almost as important at the tip mentioned above! Even if the kid or kids you are teaching are interested in learning, you still need to make it fun for them. So, because kids like both games and challenges, one of the best ways to make fly fishing fun for them is to make a game out of it. For instance, a game to see who has the best cast or, who can cast their fly the most accurately or, anything else you can dream up that is both teaches them a particular aspect of fly fishing and is also fun for them. That way, they will have a memorable day even if they don’t catch any fish.

3. Show them as well as tell them 

Some kids learn well by listening to the lectures their teachers give them during their classes and thus, they also learn well by having you explain a particular fly fishing technique to them. However, some kids are visual learners and thus, they learn much better when they see a person demonstrate a particular technique for them. So, it is a wise idea to always carry a rod of your own along when teaching kids to fly fish so that you can show them as well as explain to them what you want to teach them.

4. Don’t hover over their shoulder 

On the other hand, kids hate having an adult hanging over their shoulder scrutinizing and correcting their every move and thus, it is very important to respect not only their personal space but their need to explore as they learn. So, rather than hover behind them like an overprotective parent, approach them to tell them or show them what you need to and then, back off and let them practice a bit while you provide a bit of friendly coaching from the sidelines.


5. Praise their successes and have patience with their mistakes

Children are genetically preprogrammed to seek approval from both their peers and from adults who they either like or admire. Thus, by having patience with them, making fly fishing fun for them and, not hovering over their shoulder, while also praising their successes and pointing out but, not chastising, their mistakes, kids will appreciate you and thus, they will be far more inclined to listen to you and do as you instruct.

6. Remember that you are taller and stronger than they are

This is a big one! Adults tend to forget that they are both taller and stronger than kids are and thus, terrain that is relatively simple for an experienced adult to traverse can sometimes be extra challenging to a kid. So, when teaching kids to fly fish, it is important to remember that they are shorter, weaker, and lighter than you are and thus, it is important that you choose your path along the stream, as well as your stream crossings, with a kid’s smaller stature in mind.

7. Provide them with an outfit appropriate to their stature

Despite the fact that kids most certainly can cast effectively and accurately with a 9 foot fly rod, if you will stop and think about it for a moment, to a kid who is only three and a half or four feet tall, a 9 foot fly rod looks like a 14 foot spey rod does to an average adult! So, it’s really helpful to kids to purchase a rod for them that has both an action and a length that is appropriate to their stature.

8. Have fun yourself or they will know

It might not seem like it at times, but kids are very sensitive to the moods of the adults that they interact with and thus, if you are not having fun teaching them to fly fish, then they will definitely know it. So, even if they are having enough fun on their own to ignore your sour mood, they will still know you are not happy about being there and it will adversely affect their fly fishing experience. So, if you don’t like spending time with, or teaching, kids, then find and hire a dedicated fly fishing instructor who thoroughly enjoys teaching and have them teach your children for you. Then, you can fly fish together once their instructor has taught them how.

See more tips on taking kids on their first fishing trip…


About author: Bill Bernhardt is a professional fly fishing guide and instructor with over fifteen years of experience. Also, he is a professional editor and outdoor author who has published eight books and written more than 1,500 articles and, he has contributed to both American Outdoor Magazine and Southern Trout e-zine.


The Science Behind Weight Loss that Lasts


Losing weight is not easy. Sometimes it's harder to keep the weight off once you've managed to lose it. Unfortunately, people make it harder than it has to be through fad diets instead of science-backed methods.

Avoid Yo-Yo Dieting

Dieting doesn't work. Perhaps you will lose a few pounds with your diet, but then you will gain it all back. Yo-yo dieting is only effective at screwing up your metabolism. The problem is that people want fast results which leads them to crash dieting or one of the latest fads. Although you can fine-tune your diet to maximize results, you can't keep the weight off by limiting calories to an unsustainable level or by cutting out entire food groups.

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, and limit your calories to a reasonable amount. For example, women should never go below 1200 calories per day. Of course, a woman will lose weight quickly if she cuts calories below that target, but the body goes into starvation mode and holds on to fat, which is counterproductive.

Stay Away from Fad Diets

One of the most significant issues with fad diets is that they are rarely sustainable. Look back at history at some of the most prominent fads, and you're not likely to find anyone still completely eliminating carbs like the Atkins diet, or drinking shakes for two of their meals every day. Although components of the diet might be effective, these plans are designed to make the authors, doctors, or creators money, not to provide a lifelong health plan for you.

Time Your Meals

If you want to lose weight, there are a few scientific methods that work and last. Many people find long-lasting results by timing their meals. This is especially beneficial if you exercise to build muscle. Eating a small snack about an hour before you go to the gym can provide energy and offer muscle-building benefits.

Timing your meal too close to your workout often results in a stomachache and lower energy. You can also help build muscle by eating the right nutrients and timing it after your work out. Timing your meals helps you work out smarter, not harder, to achieve and maintain your fitness goals.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is another way to lose weight that is supported by science. Fasting has a long history of scientifically proven health benefits. Intermittent fasting is slightly different from traditional fasts where you may choose a day or couple days to not eat. With intermittent fasting, you typically fast for 16 hours every day, eating all your calories within an eight-hour window. If that's not sustainable for you, consider a 14-hour fast with a 10-hour window for eating.

The fast allows you to reboot, while the smaller eating window helps to limit your calories and reduce the risk of over-indulging. Although you still want to choose nutritious food during your eating period, the point isn't to count calories.

Trust science if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Although fad diets work for a short period, you will likely gain the weight back, and it will probably make it harder to lose weight the next time you try. 



Why Is The Controversial Plant Kratom All Over The News?


Kratom is an herbal medicine derived from the leaves of a tree with the same name and is typically used in Southeast Asia to treat diarrhea and alleviate pain. It has also gained the approval of some medical practitioners for helping in the rehabilitation of patients suffering from opioid addiction.

However, it has recently gained international attention after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealed its plans to investigate the connection of the drug to the salmonella outbreak in 20 states in the U.S., including Pennsylvania, California, and North Carolina among others.

Kratom And The Salmonella Outbreak

Based on reports, the natural substance, which is typically found in countries like Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, is being considered as the reason behind 28 cases of Salmonella in February 2018.

Eleven of the salmonella infection patients were rushed to the hospital but no deaths were recorded so far. According to CDC, eight out of 11 patients that were interviewed took kratom in different forms— teas, powder, and pills— before showing signs of the infection. As far as health authorities are concerned, the outbreak began in October 2017 and continued through January 2018.

But before the CDC stepped in, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had already warned the public about the dangers of using kratom for both medical and recreational purposes.

Based on a November 2017 press release from FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a thorough study of the plant showed that it has adverse effects that are almost the same as morphine. Because of this, the FDA warned the public about the risk of abuse, addiction, and dependency. They recommended a stricter regulation of the substance.

Is Kratom Really Deadly?

Besides the reported salmonella outbreak, there were fatalities that have been linked to kratom because of its psychoactive ingredient is known as mitragynine.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation probed several of these cases in 2016 and claimed that it was mitragynine that caused victims to overdose, ultimately dubbing kratom as a killer drug.

Even so, many are skeptical about these claims as scientists revealed that kratom cannot possibly cause an overdose— at least, not by itself. Also, many experts still support the substance because of the herbal medicine’s advantages, especially its role as an opioid replacement to ease addicts.

Benefits Of Kratom

According to proponents of the botanical drug, kratom can be used as a painkiller, an energy source and immune system booster, also a sexual stimulant. It is also known to be effective in helping patients with anxiety and it is beneficial for diabetics as well.

To ease body pains, kratom leaves can be chewed to achieve its analgesic properties. The alkaloid in the substance works by inciting an increase of the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.

Kratom is also known as a great source of antioxidants that fight free radicals, thereby boosting the body’s immunity. People with chronic fatigue syndrome also benefit from this natural drug as it optimizes metabolic processes that, in turn, gives the patient a burst of energy.

Aside from that, intake of kratom leaves is also advised for people suffering from anxiety, depression, and chronic stress as it acts as an anxiolytic substance that regulates hormonal imbalance that may cause these conditions.

Side-Effects Of Kratom

While it may be lauded for its miraculous effects, kratom is not without flaw. In fact, proponents of the herb acknowledged reported side-effects of this natural drug, such as mental confusion, hallucinations, and delusion. These “psychotic symptoms” are similar to that of morphine. Some kratom users also reported having episodes they likened to a “hangover,” including nausea and headaches.

Follow this site for the latest updates on kratom: KratomNews.org.


Healthy Mind, Healthy Body


We can learn a lot from our ancestors about healthy living. Before the days of processed food and instant gratification, human beings led active lifestyles with natural diets. Over the course of history, there have been many arguments made for the link between psychological well-being and physical health. Increased scientific inquiry into the subject has proven the validity of this mind-body connection.

Diet and exercise are the two biggest determining factors of a healthy body and mind. Yet for some reason, this notion has been frequently neglected. This article will provide you with steps to help you achieve a healthy mind and body and underline the connection between the two. Adopting a healthy diet doesn’t mean starving yourself; it means making positive changes to incorporate natural foods. When embarking on a journey to self-empowerment, introducing a balance of fruit and vegetables is a great starting point to clear the body of toxins. The rewards extend to mind and spirit too, in conjunction with embracing a consistent workout routine to improve your health.

Positive Mindset

Health experts stress the importance of positive thinking. If you’re optimistic about your goals and not easily defeated, you’re more likely to overcome initial difficulties when turning your life around. Whether you are investing in your long-term health, or your improvements are simply aesthetic, staying motivated throughout the process will help keep you on track. Positivity is a key to success, and when you notice positive changes to your body, your mind will follow. There are various wellness trends that you can use to guide your expectations and manage your strategy for staying in shape. To further improve your overall mindset, it’s important to create a safe and secure environment at home. While peace of mind and a sense of security is always important, this is especially necessary in your home. Thankfully, safety assurance can be achieved if you install a visitor management system like Safe Visitor Solutions, which can help to improve your sense of security.

Sleep Well

Quality sleep is undoubtedly a key to good health. Being in a relaxed state helps to reduce blood pressure and keep it under control. The importance of quality sleep is outlined in the Johns Hopkins sleep study, which stresses that the comfort of your sleep environment is critical to good rest. Sleep strengthens your ability to fight infection, as sufficient rest gives a boost to your immune system. Sleep puts you in a better mood, too, elevating your outlook and making you less prone to become grumpy. Insufficient sleep can put you in a negative frame of mind, which can translate to health complications. Additionally, quality sleep helps to maintain weight by regulating hormones that are associated with high calorie food intake.


The Power of Greens

According to Livestrong, green vegetables are especially beneficial for your health, particularly vegetables that are dark and leafy. The more you can eat, the better, because they’re loaded with minerals, fibers, vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. What’s great about vegetables is they satisfy appetite with no crash involved, providing long lasting energy in the same way as some modern supplements like Hydroxyelite. Speaking of supplements, they can be helpful in the early days of making your dietary changes, as some help combat cravings. A related trend is juicing, which is a great way to start the day as it provides you with these necessary nutrients all in one sitting. All you’ll need is organic celery, romaine, kale, pear, and a peeled cucumber. This reduces inflammation while providing a useful energy boost.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking water and remaining hydrated helps to transport essential nutrients to where they’re needed in the body. In this way, staying hydrated is useful to the detox process. Water supports digestion while removing waste products in the blood. Focus on drinking at least two liters of water per day, or drink one glass of water every hour. Of course, you can modify your water intake depending on your circumstances.

Choose a Workout Regimen You’ll Enjoy

Devise a workout routine that combines aerobic exercise and strength work. Zumba is a great option because it combines high-energy movement with fun elements like music. When exercising, it’s important to start at your own pace and gradually increase intensity. Don’t do too much too quickly, otherwise you’re more likely to lose motivation. Exercises to start with are Pilates or yoga to increase flexibility and strengthen your muscles. Running is a good cardiovascular exercise. It’s great for fat burning and can be modified according to your ability. If you’re experiencing mild discomfort or soreness when you begin exercising, you can seek out all-natural solutions, like Curamin Extra Strength, that serve as an all-natural alternative to over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen and aspirin.

When beginning your journey to improve your overall health, it’s important to be sure that you are taking care of both your body and mind. Making these positive lifestyle changes will have you not only looking better, but feeling better, too.



Teens and Technology


The lives of today’s teens, in their digitally connected and always online world, are much different than what us parents went through at that age. Gone are the days of making weekend plans on Fridays with your friends at school and hoping they showed up; teens are now in constant contact through phones and internet. It’s all about what you posted on Snap Chat, whose Twitter accounts you sub to, and there’s little point in doing anything that you can’t film and post online later.

With such a baffling new teen culture emerging, it’s hard for parents to know the where the line lies between safe and unhealthy use of technology. If you’re in this category, this article is definitely for you, as we look at the benefits and dangers of the constantly plugged-in lifestyles of modern teenagers.

The Benefits

For starters, there is a world of information at their fingertips, and your teen can almost instantly find out about current affairs, history, science or anything else they are interested in. The internet provides a window into all parts of the world, and young people are using it to educate themselves.

Despite what people say about technology making us anti-social, teens are communicating with each other more and more. Whether it’s a quick reminder to make sure they finish their assignment for tomorrow’s class or keeping in touch with a friend in another country, they use instant messaging and social media to develop and maintain strong friendships. For those with niche interests, technology can also allow them to find and participate in communities with like-minded others.

One of the best things about this new technology is that our teens don’t have to just passively experience it; they can create and share content themselves. Whether this is uploading music they’ve recorded, posting photographs or starting their own Youtube channel, technology can help them express themselves, learn skills and pursue artistic endeavours.

The Dangers

Unfortunately, there are dangers to the technology that our teens are plugged into. Cyber-bullying has gotten a lot of media attention recently, whereby children are bullied, intimidated and shamed over the internet and social media. Just like face-to-face bullying, it is very painful and damaging for the victim, and cyber-bullying has been linked to many cases of teen suicide.

Physical health can also be badly affected. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 50% of young Americans aged 12 to 21 don’t regularly exercise, with overuse of technology being a big contributing factor.

More insidious is the way marketers take advantage of the internet to bombard people with advertisements and promote a culture of boundless consumerism. Reports have shown that young people are very naïve about the online practices of the advertising world. We should also be concerned about how companies monitor our kids’ online activities and use this data to market products to them.


Moderation, Balance and Conversation

Healthy use of technology comes through moderation. It’s too easy fall into patterns of texting all day or playing hour upon hour of online games. This becomes harmful when it starts cutting into their school time and keeps them from sleep or real contact with people. Parents need to help their child find moderation. Don’t be afraid to set time limits Wi-Fi before you go to bed.

Balance with other aspects of life is also important. Talk to your kids about how much time they spend with their tablets and gadgets, and figure out a system whereby they also get regular exercise, fresh air, and face-to-face contact with their friends. You may even be able to do this without the usual drama; why not gift them a gym membership for their next birthday present? Or let them take the car to go visit their friends?

Above all else, your conversations with your teen will have the most impact on how safe and productive their use of technology is. Although they love to tell us how ‘grown up’ they are, teenagers are still in that strange limbo between childhood and adulthood, and they are still vulnerable. Talk to your children about how they are using technology. Ask them what they are doing and be blunt with them if you think they are spending too much time in front of a screen. Most importantly, let them know that you are aware of how nasty things can get on social media, and assure them that you are always there for them if they need support. And always, always listen to them.

Trust us, we know how difficult teenagers can be, and sometimes getting them to talk to you seems like trying to get blood from a stone. But you’re they’re parents; you’ve brought them into this world, fed them, clothed them and changed their diapers a million times, and we’re sure you can find the right way of getting through to them.


References Links



About the Author

Matt Morrisey is a former teacher who has traveled all over the world teaching children English. From China to the U.K., Matt is well known. Matt’s parents are teachers, and his only brother works for a children’s charity in the U.K. Matt currently writes for BuzzParent.com and loves to write about parenting topics ranging from kids’ toys, activities for kids, to parenting hacks and lifestyle. He loves remote-control drones, and cannot wait until he opens his window to allow a drone to enter with an Amazon package - not long now... His work has been read by readers all over the world, and is featured on blogs and websites across the globe. Matt recently decided to go back to the university to complete a PhD and continue his career.

5 Ways Parents Can Make Sure Baby Toys Are Safe


It can be challenging for parents to know what toys are safe for baby. Playtime is so important for a child’s development. Not to mention that adorable, memorable look on his or her face when a new toy is introduced to playtime. But are those baby toys safe?

Every parent has seen their baby stuff a toy in their mouth. Parents also know the frightening moment baby is chewing on a small toy, or tiny toy piece. Did they swallow anything? Should I call an ambulance?

A U.S. Product Safety Commission report on toy deaths and injuries estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries in 2016. There were also seven toy-related deaths, three of which were riding toy vehicle accident deaths.

Not a happy thought for any parent, but important nonetheless. Keep your baby from being a statistic with the following 5 ways parents can make sure baby toys are safe.

1. Identify Dangerous Toys

There are a number of dangers toys present. As a parent, you are essentially the last quality assurance agent of any toy that ends up in your baby’s little hands. Here are a few dangers to be on the lookout for.


  • Small toys or tiny toy parts that can be put in the mouth.
  • Sharp edged toys that may injury your baby’s eyes, ears, or mouth if eaten. 
  • Small magnets that can be swallowed, or toys with magnet parts.
  • Toys will cords, strings, or straps that could get wrapped around your baby’s neck.
  • Any toy with electrical parts, including batteries.
  • Easy to break toys that can cause harm if in small pieces.
  • Toxic chemicals in toys, like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, etc.


Don’t forget the dangers of those spur-of-the-moment toys children can pick up while enjoying a little playtime in nature. A watchful eye is important.

2. Do Your Toy Due Diligence

Parents should be keeping up on toy trends and dangers online. Do you know how many toy/product recalls there were in the past four months? Shockingly, there were 71 toy recalls since the beginning of 2018.

That is a lot of recalled toys! Knowing what toys are dangerous via online reviews and ratings is important. You very well could have a recalled toy in your baby’s playroom.

Online toy buying could also be risky when it comes to recalled toys. Research from the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups Education Fund found that dozens of recalled toys might still be listed online for sale.

3. Be Hesitant About Hand Me Down Toys

Hand me down toys may be free, fun, and potentially have a bit of sentimental value attached, but they may be dangerous. The wear and tear on old toys makes them more susceptible to damage from baby. This could result in small pieces becoming choking hazards.

An old hand me down toy, or toy bought second hand could be a toy that was recalled many years ago. This could expose your child to toxic chemicals or dangerous parts that have caused baby injuries in the past.

It may be expensive, and not as sentimental, but purchasing new toys could be a safer bet for your little one. “While it's tempting to accept any secondhand item another parent offers, there are some things that probably should not be handed down,” Monica Beyer of Business Insider explained.

4. Pay Attention to Age Limits and Labels

Age recommendations are there for a reason, and parents should pay attention to them. If your baby is too young for a toy based on age limit, it is an automatic hazard for your baby.

Reading labels and instructions of toys is also vital to ensuring a toy is safe for your baby. This includes the list of materials that were used in making the toy. You may even identify potential screws to tighten, like the battery cover screws that always wiggle their way out.

Not following age limits and labels also puts you at risk for not being compensated if that toy is recalled and did cause harm to your baby. “The success of many cases hinges on very specific and sometimes minute details,” personal injury attorney JR Reyna explained.

5. Think Beyond the Toy

Ensuring baby toys are safe can even go beyond the toy itself. A safe toy can become a dangerous one when in a hazardous playtime environment. Before it’s time to crawl down onto to the floor for some baby play, you should ensure the surroundings are safe.

A few playtime safety tips include:


  • Take an inventory of the toy chest. What toys need to be tossed due to dangerous broken pieces? 
  • Make sure toys are stored safely. Remember, lids are bad. 
  • Do a sweep of the playtime floor to ensure no hazards are present. This could range from broken diaper straps to a dime sized cookie shard from days before.
  • Always supervise baby playtime. If you can think of something bad, chances are it can happen.
  • Keep toys separate if you have an older child. The two toys may have different age limits, making them dangerous for baby.


Wrapping Up . . .

Baby toy safety is priority number one. Every parent knows what to do, but as all of us parents know, what we know and what we can accomplish daily with baby underfoot are two different things. Stay current on toy safety and give yourself a reminder every so often. Are your baby’s toys safe for playtime?


9 Ways To Teach Children Healthy Lifestyle Habits

As adults it is our responsibility to teach the children in our lives as much about how to keep fit and healthy as possible, so that they can live as long and happy a life as possible. Children learn from what they see and hear around them, so by creating excellent healthy habits at an early age we are setting them up for a good life full of the right things. We can show them how to make good decisions when it comes to their health and the reasons why those decisions are the right ones. Here are some more ways to teach children about healthy lifestyle habits.


Eat Together

If at all possible, try to eat together at least once a day. It can be hard because everyone is so busy, but if you persevere with the idea, you will get into a routine that will become a good habit for everyone involved. Eating together shows your children that you are making healthy eating habits for yourself as well as for them, and you are leading by example. They can see what a healthy portion size looks like for an adult and compare it to that of a child.

If you can get your children involved in the preparation and cooking of the meal too that’s even better because they will have a much better idea of the good ingredients that you are using. If there is anything included that might be called ‘bad’ for you, explain why it is there (a little butter, sugar, or salt, for example) and why it is okay to have a little of this as long as the rest of the choices they make are healthy ones.

Eating together also creates good, happy associations with food so that as your child gets older they understand that eating well is a good thing, as, not only does it make you healthy, but it gives them lovely memories of their childhood too.

Go Outside

Choosing to spend time outside rather than indoors is another healthy lifestyle habit that is good to teach your children about. If you have a yard, then get outside and play games there. They can be sporty games like soccer or football, or they can be chasing games, for example. You might even want to play games such as hide and go seek; the thrill of the game makes it exciting and being outside means there are many more places to hide.

You don’t need any fancy equipment to be able to enjoy the outside with your children; just enough space to run around in, and perhaps a ball if you want to play a game that requires one. If you don’t have the space in your own yard, then search around for a public playing field or playground where you can take the kids for some exercise. Getting outside as much as possible, even during the colder, wetter months can really make a difference to your child’s health and the way they look at the world. Exercise is fun when made into a game, and this is a great habit to instill as early as possible.

Turn Off The Tech

There is some form of technology everywhere you go, from smart phones to tablets to laptops and even TVs that have many new built in functions such as hard drives and the ability for shows to be paused, for example. It's easy to be addicted to the many different screens that are around us, but it’s important to try to stay away whenever possible. If your child sees you staring at your phone all the time they will want to do the same, and that means they won’t be exercising as much, nor will they be concentrating well at school.

Put a time limit on any tech that is used in the home and make sure that this is always implemented– you will need to stick to it yourself as well, as your child will see this if you fail to comply, and will then want to use their own technology.

Of course, going online for homework purposes is a different matter, but you will still need to supervise to ensure that homework is the only thing your child is looking at – it can be easy to get carried away and end up playing a game or looking at social media. If you can, try to use technology to your advantage; you can use a Canadian pharmacy infographic to show your children why their health is so important, for example.


Be Supportive

Being a supportive parent, talking positively to your children, and encouraging them to make the right choices is essential. Your children will want to please you and will even go out of their way to show you that they are learning the lessons you are giving them. Whenever your child makes a good decision regarding their health, make sure you praise them so that what they have done becomes positively reinforced. This will help to build your child’s knowledge as well as their self-belief and self-confidence.

The more supportive you are as a parent the less likely your child is to act out in a negative way just to gain your attention. This will help both them and you be much happier as well as healthier in the long term.

Get Them Involved

We’ve already mentioned how useful it is to get kids involved in making their own food, but there are many other things that they can be involved with that will help them to be more healthy. Shopping for groceries with you is a good start as they can see exactly what goes into their food and why you are choosing to buy it.

Look Into Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities give children a great chance to meet new people, try new things, and enhance their socializing skills. They can allow talents to come to the fore and the children can explore ways to live in a healthy, enjoyable way in a safe, secure environment. Meeting people who they wouldn’t normally know is another way of learning new things, and it is entirely possible that they will learn different ways of being healthy. Just because how and what they learn doesn’t come from you as a parent, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea, so hear them out if they want to try alternative methods of keeping healthy and maybe you can learn something new too.

Help Them To Be Responsible

By giving your children a little more freedom when it comes to choosing their own healthy lifestyle, you can ensure that they will be successful in the future. Learning to be responsible is extremely important, as it gives children a good head start in life, and can help them in their careers later on. Giving your child responsibility for their own health teaches them ownership and shows them that you respect them and their decisions. If, for example, your child can plan their own snacks or even lunches at school, or perhaps they get to choose, and maybe prepare the breakfast for the whole family once a week, they will be more proactive when it comes to making the right choices.

Food Is Not A Reward

A trap that many parents fall into is to give treats such as cookies and candies as a reward for good behavior. There are very good intentions behind this, but it is not a good thing to do in the long term. Creating this kind of food motivation can be extremely detrimental to a child’s well-being, especially as, unlike in the past, children (and adults too) are much less active, no matter how hard we all try. That means a few treats here and there are not easily worked off as they might have been.

The main problem comes with limits. If you give a child a cookie because they’ve been good one day, what happens the next when they show the same behavior? They will expect another cookie, and they may even receive one. This can go on without end if the parent isn’t able to come up with another reward. If you do want to reward your child for good behavior then it is better to come up with a points system. Every time they do something good they get a point and when they reach 10 (or any other number you choose) you can reward them with something other than food. This delays the reward and it also encourages children to work harder.

Lead By Example

Possibly the very best way to show children how to live a great healthy lifestyle is to lead by example. Children will always pick up on what they see and hear, especially when they are watching their parents. After all, they want to be just like you, and they don’t necessarily know when your behavior is ‘good’ and when it is ‘bad’ when it comes to food choices. If you want your child to has as healthy a lifestyle as possible, make sure you do too.


5 Issues to Discover in an Essay on Teenage Pregnancy


Has your professor told you to write an essay about teen pregnancy? Do you know what to write about? Teen pregnancy has become a big issue now, considering the fact that kids are becoming sexually active at a younger age. There are many issues you can write about concerning this subject, and this article will give you the top five.

1. Does Teen Pregnancy Affect Education?

This is an issue that affects teenage girls who get pregnant while still studying either at the high school or college level. You can write an essay exploring what challenges these girls face while being pregnant as a teenager but still trying to complete their education. These challenges are important to talk about because 30% of girls who get pregnant as teenagers in America end up dropping out of school, according to the National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL). That is one in every three girls, making it clear that teen pregnancy has a negative effect on education.

You can also talk about how the children of teen mothers perform in school as well. According to the NCSL, more than half of these children will repeat a grade. The website also says that these children are also more likely to drop out of school than children whose parents are much older.

This essay can be the perfect platform to suggest that schools and the government should take preventative measures to decrease the rate of teen pregnancy. You can argue that this can reduce dropout rates and increase the rates at which girls attain education.

2. How to Finish High School While Pregnant?

As mentioned earlier, being pregnant while still being a teenager can affect the ability of the girl to finish her education, and this is especially more difficult at the high school level. Teen pregnancies can mean missed classes in order to attend doctor checkups and appointments. Symptoms of pregnancy, like morning sickness, can also cause one to miss class or rush out in the middle of class to throw up in the bathroom.

You can write an essay focusing on how teen mothers can balance being pregnant and completing high school at the same time. Your essay can tell them they need help from everyone involved, from the parents, teachers to even the doctors to figure out a schedule that works in favor of the pregnant teen.

3. Health Risks Associated with Teen Pregnancy

Teen pregnancy, especially at a very young age, does not only affect educational attainment, it also affects the health of the pregnant girl and her unborn child. Issues concerning health will always be relevant, making this a great topic for an essay on teen pregnancy.

In your essay, you can talk about how teen pregnancy puts the expectant mother at a greater risk of high blood pressure (hypertension). Another health issue you can discuss is the risk of not getting the appropriate prenatal care (something that these teenage girls need during the first months of pregnancy), especially when parents are out of the picture or unsupportive. These health risks even continue after giving birth because teenage girls are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression compared to older women.

Since the baby is also at a risk, you can talk about how teen pregnancy increases the risk of premature birth. It also increases the chance of the baby being born with a low birth weight or anemia as well. Perhaps, the biggest health risk for the baby is that infant mortality (death) is high for teen mothers compared to older ones.


4. What Factors Lead to Teen Pregnancy?

Prevention of teen pregnancy is an important issue, and it is better to address the root cause if all preventative measures are to be effective. An essay dwelling on what factors lead to teen pregnancy is relevant for this reason.

This can be looked at from three different angles: individual risk factors, social risk factors, and family risk factors. Individual risk factors include substance abuse, lack of sex education, low self-esteem, sexual maturity at a young age, being sexually abused, and aversion to contraception. Social risk factors include peer pressure, having sexually active friends, dating early or dating older guys and having friends who are a bad influence. Family risk factors include lack of parental supervision, having a single parent, little to no meaningful interaction between a parent and a child, unresolved family issues and a history of teen pregnancies in the family.

5. Maintaining a Social Life While Dealing with Teen Pregnancy

Can pregnant teenagers still have a social life? Many teenage girls who are pregnant often suffer from social isolation. This can be because pregnancy can cause one to be more tired and sleep more, contributing to the social isolation, which can also lead to issues like depression.

You can write an essay talking about how pregnant teens can still have a social life, from hanging out with family and friends to going out on a date with their boyfriend. You can give some advice on how to budget time and plan events ahead of time so that they can at least hang out with their loved ones.

As you can see, these topics are relevant to modern times and should make a great essay. If you are stuck and don’t know what your essay on teen pregnancy should be about, just pick one of these topics and begin writing. But if it is not as simple as that because you may be overwhelmed with other college work, consider hiring a custom writing service to write a great essay for you on teen pregnancy issues.


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