Friday, March 30, 2012

What is a Midwife & Why Would You Choose One to Help You with Pregnancy & Delivery?

Women’s Care of Wisconsin now offers midwifery services in the Fox Valley...


By Becky Kahler-Thyssen, MSN, CNM, APNP
Nurse Midwife and Nurse Practitioner

View Becky's Video Here

I am very excited to be working with the team at Women’s Care of Wisconsin to now offer hospital-based midwifery services to the women of the Fox Cities community. I will help women through their pregnancies and births with midwifery care, and will be delivering babies at Appleton Medical Center.

What is a nurse midwife?
There is some confusion regarding the term "midwife" since there are differences in education and experience among those who practice midwifery. There are lay midwives, direct-entry midwives, licensed midwives, certified midwives and nurse midwives, and likely other terms that I might be unaware of.

A nurse midwife, like myself, has a Master's Degree, usually in nursing, and is board certified to practice as a nurse midwife by the American Midwifery Certification Board. I have a Master’s of Science Degree in Nursing with a specialty in Midwifery from the Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing in Hyden, KY. My clinical preparation was at Gunderson Lutheran Medical Clinic in Lacrosse, WI, where I was certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives. I also have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Bellin College of Nursing in Green Bay.

Midwives are also primary care providers who specialize in the health needs of women throughout life. We listen to your concerns about your health and sexuality and can perform Pap tests and breast exams; provide birth control methods and family planning; HIV screenings and mammography referrals; and diagnose and treat vaginal and sexually transmitted infections. Midwives manage urinary tract infections, incontinence and many other gynecologic conditions.

Midwives offer:
• Cancer Screening and Mammography Referrals
• Childbirth Education & Preparation
• Comprehensive Gynecologic Care
• Family Planning and Contraception
• Infertility Counseling
• Osteoporosis Risk, Treatment and Reduction
• Sexual Health Management
• Menopause Management

What does a midwife do, and why should I chose a nurse midwife?
Midwife means "with woman." We approach women’s health with personalized care to empower women and their families.

A nurse midwife may do many different things. Besides the exceptional prenatal care a nurse midwife can offer, during labor a midwife (someone you personally know and trust) is present at your bedside nurturing, encouraging, and guiding you, all the way to when we deliver the baby into your arms. This can be very comforting and soothing for a woman and her family. Studies show that this can often shorten labor and decrease risk of cesarean birth and other interventions.

We are also there for you after delivery to help guide you on the best choices for your baby’s health, listening and helping you with your questions and concerns.

What if something goes wrong?
Electing to use a nurse midwife is appropriate for low risk pregnancies, which make up 60 to 80% of all pregnancies. Although we approach pregnancy and birth as a natural and normal process, we are always watchful for signs that may suggest otherwise. Women's Care of Wisconsin has a cohesive and supportive team of providers that are always available for consult, collaboration, and referral if the need arises. In these special cases, a woman may get the care of two professionals instead of one.

Why did I become a midwife?
When I was going to nursing school I loved learning about pregnancy, labor and birth. I was fascinated with a woman's ability to produce such a miracle! I cried like a baby when I watched my first birth. It was a very moving experience for me. I then started working on the labor and delivery floor and I absolutely loved it!

During this time, I had 3 beautiful children. With the experience of my own pregnancies and births, I realized I was really missing out on so much. I wanted to be with women and their families from the very beginning of their pregnancy as well as during the labor and birth. So I went back to school and graduated from Frontier Nursing University with my Master's Degree in Nursing and became board certified as a nurse midwife in 2003.

Learn moreFor more information on midwives, please go to myMidwife.org. This is a wonderful website that offers women and their families information regarding midwifery services.

Becky Kahler-Thyssen is a Midwife and Nurse Practitioner at the Neenah and Appleton locations of Women’s Care of Wisconsin. Contact her at 920-729-7105 or meet her here.

About Women’s Care of Wisconsin: The providers at Women’s Care of Wisconsin are devoted to you and your health. That means having the most advanced techniques, up-to-date educational information and a compassionate, caring staff. Our providers offer a well-rounded approach to your OB/GYN care, one that meets both your physical and emotional needs throughout every phase of your life. We call it our Circle of Care. From adolescence through menopause and beyond, you can depend on us. Meet our providers and learn more about gynecology, pregnancy care, infertility, procedures and surgery, incontinence, osteoporosis, menopause and more at womenscareofwi.com.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Caffeine: The 5th Food Group for College Students – But at What Cost?

The importance of healthy sleep patterns to combat fatigue...

By Tracy Fritz, MS, RN, FNP-BC, APNP
Nurse Practitioner
View Tracy's Video Bio!


It’s 11pm on a Sunday. You are driving back to school after visiting your friends at a neighboring college. You’ve been up all day contemplating when to start writing that 6-page editorial for English but then remembered that you also have a quiz for another class bright and early at your 8am Monday class. How in the world are you going to get it all done? You could zip over to the 24-hour library at the school but, man; you are so tired you can barely keep your eyes open. You know! You’ll pick up some coffee or an energy drink and that will at least help you get through the first couple of hours. But when you can’t get to sleep and your heart is racing from all the caffeine…

Then what do you do?  You need to SLEEP!

Does this sound familiar?

I don’t miss the endless hours of sleep lost over big exams and major papers, then trying to pull working a job on top of it. As a nurse, I have experienced not only the fun and stress of college but also I was a night-shift worker for 8 years. Three of those years, I was doing both! How can a person survive? I can’t lie; I resorted to drinking as much caffeine as was humanly possible to drink. But at what cost to my health?

The use of supplements, whether that is in the form of caffeine in energy drinks, soda or coffee, or in the use of oral stimulants normally used for ADHD, is becoming a growing trend for college students. However, students don’t realize the health risks associated with overuse of caffeine.

Consuming a lot of caffeine not only leads to poor sleep habits and increases your risk for hypertension and heart arrhythmias, but it can lead to addiction. Using a roommate or friend’s oral stimulant is not only dangerous but VERY illegal, and if caught can hurt your chances of obtaining a job after college.

Lack of regular restful sleep can also cause major health concerns. Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, such as:
• Diabetes
• Cardiovascular diseases
• Obesity
• Depression
It can also cause daytime sleepiness, sluggishness, and difficulty concentrating or making decisions. Teens and young adults who do not get enough sleep are at risk for additional problems, such as automobile crashes, poor grades and school performance, depressed moods, and problems with friends, fellow students, and adult relationships.

Quick Tips:
• Avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine. The stimulating effects of caffeine in coffee, colas, teas, and chocolate can take as long as 8 hours to wear off fully.
• Avoid pulling an all-nighter to study.
• Create a good sleeping environment. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and not too hot or cold. Get rid of anything that might distract you from sleep, such as noises or bright lights.
• Make sure your bed is comfortable and use it only for sleeping – not for other activities such as reading, watching TV, listening to music or working on your computer.
• Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
• Avoid large meals before bedtime.
• Be active for at least 2 ½ hours every week. Regular physical activity helps improve your ability to sleep and your overall health. However, do not exercise within a few hours of bedtime.
• Eat a balanced diet. Regular healthy meals help you maintain your energy level without the necessity to add caffeine into the mix.
• Get routine health check-ups, which will help you stay healthy and help identify and correct any health concerns early.
• See your health provider at Women’s Care of Wisconsin if you have trouble sleeping or need additional advice on how to avoid caffeine and maintain regular sleeping patterns.

Tracy Fritz is a Nurse Practitioner at the Oshkosh location of Women’s Care of Wisconsin. Contact her at 920-729-7105 or meet her here.

About Women’s Care of Wisconsin: The providers at Women’s Care of Wisconsin are devoted to you and your health. That means having the most advanced techniques, up-to-date educational information and a compassionate, caring staff. Our providers offer a well-rounded approach to your OB/GYN care, one that meets both your physical and emotional needs throughout every phase of your life. We call it our Circle of Care. From adolescence through menopause and beyond, you can depend on us. Meet our providers and learn more about gynecology, pregnancy care, infertility, procedures and surgery, incontinence, osteoporosis, menopause and more at http://www.womenscareofwi.com/.