Blog Archive

Challenges with Lactation? Jun 22nd, 2020

Whether you are a first time parent or a seasoned one, you know there is no time in life like the first weeks with a new baby. Getting to know your new addition is joyous, but sleep deprivation and establishing a new normal for your family can be challenging! When...

Obstetrics and Gynecology and COVID-19: What You Should Know May 26th, 2020

SARS-CoV-2 is sweeping the globe, and if you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding, you may have concerns about the possibility of contracting the virus, developing COVID-19, and the impact this will have on you and your baby. At Physicians for Women in Madison, Wisconsin, The Madison Midwives and...

Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety Apr 27th, 2020

Managing Stress and Anxiety..                           In this crazy pandemic, maintaining our physical health, and managing increased stress and anxiety is so important.  Here are some tips to help you cope with increased stress and anxiety. Exercise releases positive endorphins in your body that help you mentally feel better.  Get outside...

Understanding Water Birth and if it's the Right Choice for Your Delivery Apr 21st, 2020

Water-birthing is a common practice around the world, and it’s finally being accepted in the United States as a safe, comfortable way for a baby to leave the womb. According to the most recent statistics, around 6% of women in the U.S. chose water-birth as of 2014, and that number...

We Know You've Been Waiting! Apr 20th, 2020

We’re here for your health needs and some of you have been helping everyone by waiting for your appointment since early March. Starting May 1st, we will begin phasing in more appointments to meet your medical needs. If you already have an appointment after May 1st, you should keep it...

Are My Expired Medications Safe to Take? Mar 25th, 2020

Is it dangerous to take your expired prescription medications? Should I  stock up on medications? The answer is no. Your prescription medications remain safe and effective, and your pharmacy is overwhelmed right now with the high demand for medications during the cough and flu season compounded by the Coronavirus pandemic....

Ways To Boost Your Immunity Mar 21st, 2020

As exercise strengthens your muscles, doing a bit of immune-system upkeep by avoiding destructive habits and embracing some simple immune supports can go a long way towards keeping you as healthy as possible. During this unprecedented time where each of us need all the help we can muster to stay...

What Comes after an Abnormal Pap Smear? Mar 19th, 2020

The Pap smear was developed in 1928 by George Papanicolaou and has become one of the fastest, easiest, and most effective ways to detect cervical cancer early on. It’s now a routine test done for most 21–65-year-old women every three years, and it saves many lives.  At Physicians for Women...

Here are some COVID-19 Clinic Updates Mar 15th, 2020

As we face the COVID-19 challenge together, we at Physicians for Women, along with Phases and The Madison Midwives want you to know our first concern is to keep you safe. We are following CDC guidelines as well as state and local public health recommendations. Our clinic is open, but...

Letter to our Patients Concerning COVID-19 Virus Mar 10th, 2020

Dear Patient, We know you’re concerned about the Coronavirus. We want to reassure you we are taking aggressive steps to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus in our clinic. Our staff is following our usual infection control measures we always ramp up during flu season. We are doing...

5 Steps You Can Take to Reduce Your Risk for Having a High-Risk Pregnancy Feb 3rd, 2020

Have you been thinking about pregnancy, but are concerned about the possibility of complications? Understanding what increases the chances of a high-risk pregnancy can help you minimize the likelihood of complications occurring. At Physicians for Women in Madison, Wisconsin, Drs. Fredric Melius, Julie Schurr, and Michael Cardwell, along with our...

How Hormone Replacement Therapy Helps with Menopausal Symptoms Jan 1st, 2020

Every woman eventually enters the time of life when menstruation stops. Once you haven’t had a period for 12 months or more, you’re considered to be menopausal. This can be a time in your life that causes much change and confusion, but it can also be a freeing, happy time. ...

Four Reasons Why a Midwife May Be the Best Choice for You | By Betsy Stern-Madison Mom Dec 12th, 2019

During pregnancy, you have all kinds of decisions to make. Who should you tell first about the baby? Should you find out the gender or make it a surprise? Epidural, C-section or natural childbirth? Home birth, birthing center or hospital? What about the baby’s name? One of the most important...

Erin’s Story: Pregnancy and Preeclampsia – Erin Elliott Nov 22nd, 2019

Six months ago was World Preeclampsia Day.  Today we have a patient that wanted to share her story and testimonial: My husband and I learned we were pregnant with twins on my 30th birthday after our 4th frozen embryo transfer. I had an incredible pregnancy. I felt great, I was...

Life After Breast Cancer: How FemiLift Can Help – Dr. Julie Schurr Oct 31st, 2019

As an OB/GYN for over 26 years, I have had the privilege of seeing many patients through some rough patches in their lives. There are always a few patient experiences that stay with you and serve to remind you why you went into this field despite the long hours and...

Oh Baby, My Aching Back! – Dr. Frederic Melius Oct 9th, 2019

Back pain is one of the most common complaints pregnant women mention to us during OB appointments. As if the body changes associated with pregnancy weren’t uncomfortable enough, back pain reduces mobility, interrupts sleep and just make you miserable. The main cause of pregnancy back pain is back muscle strain...

Two Important Vaccines to Have During Pregnancy Sep 28th, 2019

Vaccines are powerful. Not only can they prevent disease, they can polarize friends, family members and physician-patient relationships. They are equally praised and lambasted on social media, by late night talk hosts and blogs. In a word, they’ve become controversial in the non-medical press. Not so, however, in the extensive...

Top Tips for Thriving (not surviving) in the Fourth Trimester! – Dr. Julie Schurr Sep 20th, 2019

As an OB/GYN for over 26 years, I’ve been curious when we as a medical community, and as a civilized culture, would recognize that a pregnant woman’s journey doesn’t simply end with the delivery of her child. Wonderful and exciting as this is, I’ve learned through personal and professional experience...

Avoiding The Freshman 15 Aug 31st, 2019

We’ve seen our share of young co-eds this month at the office preparing to leave for college. Whether it’s a sports physical or a discussion about contraception, it always includes a discussion about avoiding some of the common mistakes young college students make when living on their own; sometimes for...

The Fourth Trimester-It’s About Time, It’s About YOU! – Dr. Julie Schurr Aug 24th, 2019

Pediatricians often speak to new parents about the “fourth trimester” (AKA the first three months of life) as an incredible time of change, adaptation and development in the newborn. I have always thought, as an OB/GYN, “what about the changes as a new mom?” Becoming a new parent is a...

Why Choose The Madison Midwives By, Christine Kern Steffen Jul 27th, 2019

It’s hard to believe that 5 years ago we were in the final stages of getting ready to announce the opening of The Madison Midwives! With a passion for always helping women to find a birthing option that was best for them, doctors Melius, Schurr & Cardwell were forward thinking...

Promoting Peace During Pregnancy & Postpartum – Yogamoms Classes Move to Our Clinic Jun 26th, 2019

A new chapter is beginning for our clinic and for Yogamoms, a group started by our midwife, Christine Kern Steffen in 2003. Christine has been holding her classes at Mound Street Yoga, but as the studio closes in July they will be moving the Prenatal and Postnatal classes to our...

Purpose & Perspective – My Journey to Mission & Service -Dr. Julie Schurr Jun 19th, 2019

WHAT I DO AND WHY I DO IT (My mission in Guatemala and Milwaukee) A few years ago, I had an epiphany. A “What’s it all about Alfie?” moment where I began to really ask myself, “What more can I do?” cloaked in the fear of “Is this all there...

CDC Letter to Health Care Providers Shared by, Dr. Julie Schurr Jun 12th, 2019

The Center for Disease Control has a new letter to providers to help clarify recommendations for adult MMR vaccination and assessing immunity. The letter addresses the following important points: Providers do not need to actively screen adult patients for measles immunity. This is because of high population immunity and low...

The Act of Giving Birth-Prenatal Testing and Diagnosis (Part 2) – Dr. Michael Cardwell May 22nd, 2019

The technology of the actual birth hasn’t changed much for many years, but amazing new technology is revolutionizing prenatal diagnosis and testing. For many years amniocentesis was the only testing option for the diagnosis of genetic abnormalities. It is still the gold standard, but new screening methods have dramatically reduced...

The Act of Giving Birth-A Look at Current Trends (Part 1) – Dr. Michael Cardwell May 17th, 2019

The the fundamentals of the act of giving birth haven’t changed for thousands of years but many changes over the past couple decades have made the process safer, less clinical and more rewarding for Mom and Dad. Physicians and Midwives first job is ensuring the safety of Mom and Baby....

Diary of a Labor and Delivery Nurse: Miss Congeniality May 10th, 2019

As Nurse Appreciation Week comes to a close we wanted to share the words of one Labor and Delivery Nurse. Nursing is truly a work of Heart and we are thankful to be surrounded by so many wonderful nurses, nurse practitioners and nurse midwifes! The love you share for your...

The 5 Most Common Pelvic Floor Issues in Women and What You Can Do About Them Apr 13th, 2019

We want to start by saying that issues with pelvic floor are a common condition, but many women delay reporting them to their doctor. The problems women experience vary, but in most cases early intervention can lead to better results with treatment. Problems with injury or damage to the pelvic...

Iodine in Pregnancy and Foodie Salts – Dr. Julie Schurr Apr 8th, 2019

(Spoiler alert- Just because it’s gourmet doesn’t mean it’s better for you) I love dining out and trying new foods, and I love to cook too. Many of the recipes I find so appealing include the use of gourmet salts (Pink Himalayan, Kosher, Sea salt, sel Gris, and Fleur de...

Exercise and Pregnancy: Benefits, Challenges and What Nobody Talks About – Dr. Julie Schurr Apr 1st, 2019

Exercising pregnant has its own set of goals, challenges and benefits, but it most definitely doesn’t look like your exercise regimen prior to the baby bump. Understanding the why and how modifications to your exercise routine can help keep you safe is important and so rarely discussed. In our experience,...

Avocado Recall and Pregnancy By, Dr. Michael Cardwell Mar 26th, 2019

The Henry Avocado Company has announced the recall of avocados sold in several states, including Wisconsin. The company found Listeria in routine testing of its packaging facility in California. There have not been any cases of Listeria reported; the company is acting proactively. If you have California Avocados from Henry,...

Shingles and the Shingrix Vaccine By, Dr. Julie Schurr Mar 23rd, 2019

They say that 50 is the new 30. Many women (and men) lead a life in their fifties that is active, complex and stressful. We are a generation of hard-working, world-travelling multi-taskers who often burn the candle at both ends. As a physician that often sees women over the age...

Metabolism Truths and Myths Mar 18th, 2019

As our weather here in Wisconsin finally warms, we can’t wait to get outside, shed our multiple layers of Polar Fleece and enjoy some sunshine and sweet open air! Women view this time of year with both celebration and trepidation and our goal to “lose that winter weight” hits us...

Bringin’ Sexy Back (Part 2) By, Dr. Julie Schurr Mar 11th, 2019

With the natural hormonal decline associated with aging, women, starting in their 40s, begin to notice symptoms like vaginal dryness and irritation. Vaginal tissues, like our skin, lose collagen and elastin with age and small blood vessels supplying nutrients and oxygen become smaller and less functional. This translates into vaginal...

Bringin’ Sexy Back (Part 1) By, Dr. Julie Schurr Mar 4th, 2019

February is the month we commonly associate with our hearts, both physically and emotionally. As women’s health care providers, we place an emphasis on both aspects of a woman’s heart, and not just in the month of February. It is one thing to help a woman remain physically well and...

Stay Healthy In the Polar Vortex of WI Winter! By, Dr. Julie Schurr Feb 26th, 2019

I’ve not met one person lately who is still singing the praises of winter in Wisconsin. We’re all sick of it, literally. Yes, snow can be beautiful, the moon is bright and the air crisp, but between outbreaks of Influenza and Norovirus, and just plain rotten upper respiratory infections, we...

The 90% Rule Feb 21st, 2019

The majority of risk factors that lead to a heart attack are those under your control and not secondary to inherited conditions. Minor changes in lifestyle make for large impacts in your health. What You Can’t Control – The 10% -Age (over 45 for men, over 55 for women)-Gender (men...

How does chronic stress affect a woman’s health? Feb 16th, 2019

Stress is your body’s response to the daily events in your life. “Good” stress serves to motivate you to achieve a goal. “Bad” stress is a negative, destructive and self-inflicted energy that eats away at your health and can lead to many debilitating issues, especially heart disease. The “fight or...

What can I do to prevent Heart Disease? Feb 7th, 2019

Women, in general, are known for addressing the needs of everyone else in their lives first, and get around to caring for themselves last. We make it a point to emphasize the importance of self-care to our patients. Take time each day to exercise, fuel your body with a diet...

What’s happens to my body now that I’m no longer pregnant? When should I worry there’s a problem? Dec 17th, 2018

Your body is amazing. Every organ system geared up for your pregnancy, and now that you’ve delivered, things begin to revert back to the way they were- some slowly and others rapidly. Common immediate concerns postpartum focus on a few things: bleeding too heavily, signs of infection or worsening pain...

Will I ever lose this “baby weight”? Dec 17th, 2018

We, as women, place incredible pressure on ourselves to look as svelte and fit as possible. Pregnancy throws a monkey wrench into this goal and although we, for the most part, tolerate weight gain during pregnancy, we become absolutely driven postpartum to return to our pre-pregnancy selves asap. I tell...

When is sex okay? (coupled with questions like will it hurt? And will it feel different to me/him?) Dec 17th, 2018

This is a super common question and often asked by the new Dad. I tell my patients to wait on average 4-6 weeks after delivery before becoming sexually active. This allows vaginal tears and laceration repairs time to heal and for the uterus to properly involute (shrink) and stop bleeding....

How long should I breastfeed my baby? Dec 17th, 2018

My general response to this question is to set an initial goal of exclusive breastfeeding for your baby’s first six months. This is in keeping with not just the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) but is also consistent with the World Health...

How will I know if I’m just overwhelmed and sleep-deprived versus depressed postpartum? Dec 17th, 2018

Absolutely every new Mom experiences a transition in mood postpartum. The spectrum includes feeling mildly anxious and uncertain and crying “just because it feels better” to intense feelings that are prohibitive of you taking care of yourself and your baby. In other words, Postpartum Blues can be anticipated, to some...