Most Popular Articles

Benefits of Mother–Baby Skin-to-Skin Contact

Spatz, Diane L.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(3):170, May/June 2022.

Skin-to-skin contact has numerous benefits for newborns including supporting breastfeeding. Our breastfeeding expert, Dr. Spatz, reviews some of the most recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses on skin-to-skin contact and offers suggestions for improving rates on maternity units.

Complications of Cesarean Birth: Clinical Recommendations for Prevention and Management

Burke, Carol; Allen, Roma

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(2):92-99, March/April 2020.

Maternal morbidity and mortality is significantly increased with cesarean birth as compared to vaginal birth. In this clinical review, strategies for prevention and management of three complications of cesarean birth are presented; postpartum hemorrhage, surgical site infection, and venous thromboembolism. Pertinent patient safety bundles, toolkits, protocols, and national standards and guidelines are applied to care of women having cesarean birth.

Protecting Patients and Retaining Nurses

Logsdon, M. Cynthia

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(3):121, May/June 2022.

The nursing shortage, caused in part, and exacerbated by the pandemic is going to need a lot of collective effort for resolution. Nurses are reporting job stress, dissatisfaction, and burnout. The American Nurses Association asked the United States Department of Health and Human Services to declare the nurse staffing shortage a national crisis.

Sudden Unexpected Postnatal Collapse Resulting in Newborn Death in the United States

Anderson, Tatiana M.; Ferres, Juan M. Lavista; Ramirez, Jan-Marino; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(3):130-136, May/June 2021.

The sudden collapse of an apparently healthy newborn, known as sudden unexpected postnatal collapse (SUPC), is fatal in about half of cases. Death of a healthy newborn in the hospital setting is tragic; some cases are likely preventable. In this study, analysis of SUPC cases from 2003 to 2013 involving review of over 41 million US births found a rate of SUPC of 1.5/100,000 live births with an estimated 22% occurring in the hospital setting. Newborn hospital safety recommendations from the Association Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses and other professional organizations are included.

Perspectives of Women Giving Birth during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Their Nurses

Callister, Lynn Clark

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(3):171, May/June 2022.

The prolonged COVID-19 global pandemic has had a profound effect on the lived experiences of birthing women and their nurses. Our global health and nursing expert, Dr. Callister, reviews some of the recent data on how women giving birth and maternity nurses are coping with the changes in care conditions due to the pandemic.

New Mothers' Perceptions of Pressure to Breastfeed

Korth, Christina X.; Keim, Sarah A.; Crerand, Canice E.; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(3):160-167, May/June 2022.

This study reports on a measure to quantitatively assess perceived pressure to breastfeed and examines associations between perceived pressure, emotional distress, the breastfeeding experience, and self-efficacy among women with 2 to 6-month-old infants. Women reported themselves and society as the greatest sources of pressure. Pressure to breastfeed was negatively associated with the breastfeeding experience. Perceived pressure to breastfeed may be an important psychosocial factor to consider for improving women's breastfeeding experiences. Reducing perceived pressure may be beneficial for helping women meet their breastfeeding goals.

Quality Improvement and Participation in Perinatal Quality Collaboratives Promote Patient Safety

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(3):175, May/June 2022.

In August 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued new requirements for hospitals with maternity services to report participation in perinatal quality collaboratives and adoption of perinatal patient safety bundles. A summary of the requirements and implications for practice is provided.

Paths to Motherhood for Women with Cystic Fibrosis

Bray, Leigh Ann; Campbell, Caitlin Marley; Brown, Janet; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(3):147-153, May/June 2022.

Cystic fibrosis is no longer a disease limited to childhood. With medical advancements, many patients with cystic fibrosis live into adulthood and consider becoming mothers, however available options and their reproductive decision-making process are not well understood. In this study women with cystic fibrosis describe their decision-making as they considered various options for motherhood.

Burnout and Turnover among NICU Nurses

Thomas, Anisa O.; Bakas, Tamilyn; Miller, Elaine; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(1):33-39, January/February 2022.

Work-related burnout, characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment, has been associated with nurses' intent to leave their job. In this study of nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit, 16.9% of left their position over an 11-month period and a majority of reported moderate to high levels of emotional exhaustion. No association was found between any dimension of burnout and odds of turnover; however, burnout may have other negative consequences for both neonatal intensive care nurses and infants, and merits further exploration.

Inclusive and Respectful Language in Scholarly Writing and Speaking

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(4):196, July/August 2020.

Inclusive and respectful language in manuscripts published in MCN is an important consideration in writing for the journal and editing accepted articles. As use of gender-neutral language and descriptions of race and ethnicity evolve and value-laden words are scrutinized, we will be helping authors make sure their scholarly work is appropriately presented in MCN.

Galactagogues and Lactation: Considerations for Counseling Breastfeeding Mothers

Balkam, Jane J.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(3):130-137, May/June 2022.

Galactagogues are sometimes used by new mothers who are breastfeeding to enhance their milk supply. However, there is minimal evidence that these products are safe or efficacious. Since they are considered dietary supplements, they are not reviewed or regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In this article, the evidence and lack thereof for galactagogues to increase breast milk supply are reviewed. Nurses can use this information to help breastfeeding mothers make an informed decision about galactagogues and temper their expectations of these products in successfully solving a milk supply issue.

Pediatric Providers Are Not Following Guidance on Peanut Allergy in Infants

Beal, Judy A.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(3):169, May/June 2022.

Guidelines on minimizing risks of infants developing peanut allergies were published in 2017 by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Recent evidence suggests these guidelines are not being followed. Our pediatric nursing expert, Dr. Beal, summarizes the guidelines, offers resources to direct parents and caregivers who request more information, and highlights the important role of pediatric nurses in educating parents and caregivers.

Owning our Professional Practice: Back to Basics

Wisner, Kirsten

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(3):168, May/June 2022.

Perinatal nurses have multiple options to keep up to date about the latest evidence and clinical practice standards and guidelines. Our maternity nursing expert, Dr. Wisner, offers suggestions including becoming a member of our professional organization, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses, becoming certified in one or more perinatal nursing or interdisciplinary certification processes through the National Certification Corporation, and establishing a process for routine review of evidence, guidelines, and standards from professional nursing and medical organizations that support perinatal care givers.

Emollients to Prevent Eczema in High-Risk Infants: Integrative Review

Armstrong, Julie; Rosinski, Nicole K.; Fial, Alissa; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(3):122-129, May/June 2022.

Atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema, is a common chronic inflammatory skin disorder. Topical emollients have been hypothesized to enhance the skin barrier and therefore be helpful as a preventative measure. In this integrative review, evidence for treating AD is reviewed. Based on findings from two high quality randomized trials, clinicians should not recommend use of emollients to prevent AD. Evidence-based recommendations for infant skin care, includes bathing with water or a combination of water and liquid cleanser formulated for infants, and avoiding soaps. Products applied to skin should be free of scent and contact allergens. Petroleum jelly or mineral oil are appropriate to moisturize infants' skin as needed. Nurses can use these findings to inform their recommendations to parents.

Identifying Obstetric Mistreatment Experiences in U.S. Birth Narratives: Application of Internationally Informed Mistreatment Typologies

Tello, Hannah J.; Téllez, Dylan J.; Gonzales, Joseph E.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(3):138-146, May/June 2022.

Women may experience a tramatic birth when they perceive they have not been respected, listened to, or treated kindly during the childbirth process. Procedures and protocols that are routine to nurses, midwives, and physicians are not always understood or desired by women giving birth. In this study, narratives of women who gave birth in the United States reveal more effort is needed to make sure all those who experience childbirth are treated with the respect they deserve.

Reducing the Stigmatization of Teen Mothers

SmithBattle, Lee I.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 38(4):235-241, July/August 2013.

Nurses are urged to advocate for services and policies that reduce the stigmatization and marginalization of teen mothers.

Postpartum Pain Management

Wisner, Kirsten

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(1):52, January/February 2022.

Postpartum pain is common and may interfere with a patient's selfcare and infant care. Untreated pain has been associated with postpartum depression, persistent pain, and higher use of opioids. Our maternity nursing expert, Dr. Wisner, provides a summary of a new American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Clinical Consensus guideline on pharmacologic pain management for acute perineal, uterine, and incisional pain in the postpartum period.

Threats to Patient Safety in the Inpatient Maternity Setting

O'Neill, Loraine; Miller, Lisa A.; Rohan, Annie J.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(2):74-81, March/April 2020.

As part of our special topics issue on inpatient maternity care, three nurse experts were asked to offer their thoughts about the main issues putting mothers and babies at risk in the hospital setting and what quality and safety practices may be beneficial in keeping them safe from harm.

Gestational Hypertension and Preeclampsia

Wisner, Kirsten

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(3):170, May/June 2019.

Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy continue to be a major contributor to maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. A summary of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists updated guidelines for diagnosis and management of these disorders is presented by our maternity nursing expert Kirsten Wisner.

Immigrant Women's Experiences as Mothers in the United States: A Scoping Review

Oerther, Sarah; Lach, Helen W.; Oerther, Daniel

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(1):6-16, January/February 2020.

Since 1970, the increase in U.S. births has been driven in part by immigrant mothers. While mothering is a universal experience among women who have children, little is known about the broad experiences of immigrant women from different cultures who are mothering in the United States. In this scoping review, gaps in the literature are identified and recommendations for future research are offered.

Social Determinants of Maternal Health and Birth Outcomes

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(1):7, January/February 2017.

Social determinants of health such as racial discrimination, poor quality neighborhoods, and acculturation may increase risk of negative mental health and birth outcomes for minority women in the United States. Nurses can take leadership roles in creating policies that promote economic development, reduce poverty, reduce residential segregation, promote healthier neighborhoods, and support immigrant women.

Marijuana and Breastfeeding

Spatz, Diane L.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(1):54, January/February 2022.

Marijuana use among adults of childbearing age has increased over the years, including during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Our breastfeeding expert, Dr. Spatz, reviews the evidence for transmission of components of marijuana to breastmilk and what that means for babies who are being breastfed.

Safe Nurse Staffing is More than Numbers and Ratios

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(5):304, September/October 2017.

Safe staffing is not numbers or ratios, rather the essential nursing care for optimal outcomes. Productivity targets should financially support enough nurses to provide care that is required based on national standards and guidelines. The numbers recommended in the AWHONN (2010) staffing guidelines represent the ability to perform that requisite nursing care.

In-Hospital Survival Skills Training for Type 1 Diabetes: Perceptions OF Children AND Parents

Schmidt, Cynthia A.; Bernaix, Laura W.; Chiappetta, Maria; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 37(2):88-94, March/April 2012.

How do children with type 1 diabetes and their families perceive their initial education and support from nurses?

Perinatal Care of Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors: Scoping Review

Head, Morgan L.; Heck, Jennifer L.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(3):154-159, May/June 2022.

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse need sensitive nursing care during labor and birth. Procedures and exams may be triggering of the abuse. Consent to touch is critical. In this scoping review of perinatal care of childhood survivors of sexual abuse, voices of women are highlighted and their suggestions for how to improve care during the childbirth process are identified. Experiences of survivors of childhood sexual abuse when receiving maternity care need more research to promote safe and effective perinatal nursing care for this vulnerable population.

Impact of Social Media on Adolescents

Beal, Judy A.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(2):108, March/April 2022.

Recent evidence suggests social media can have a negative effect on adolescents. Whistle-blower testimony before the United States Congress in Fall 2021 emphasized the knowledge that social media companies have about these effects and their lack of action to make their platforms safer for adolescents. Our pediatric nursing expert, Dr. Beal, covers this controversy and how pediatric nurses can help parents promote better use of social media for their children.

Implications of Preterm Birth for Maternal Mental Health and Infant Development

Anderson, Cheryl; Cacola, Priscila

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(2):108-114, March/April 2017.

Preterm birth can be a traumatic event as it is many times unexpected and often leads to admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Mothers of infants in the NICU experience stress that can progress to depressive symptoms and posttraumatic stress disorder. These mental health issues can have a negative impact on maternal-infant attachment and infant development.

Nurse Staffing and Care During the Immediate Postpartum Recovery Period

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 40(6):403, November/December 2015.

The first hours after birth are a time of joy and excitement, but also are associated with risk. What can you do to make sure the mother and baby are safe as they transition physiologically during the immediate postpartum recovery period? What standards and guidelines promote maternal and newborn safety during this time?

Cry It Out: What Is It and Is It Appropriate?

Beal, Judy A.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(3):180, May/June 2017.

Infant wakefulness at night is common. New parents often turn to the Internet for what to do when they encounter issues with their new baby that they're not sure how to handle, however, there are multiple websites offering advice that is not evidence-based. Our pediatric nursing expert, Dr. Beal, provides the most recent information on infant wakefulness at night for nurses to be able offer helpful advice to parents.

Minimizing Unnecessary Interventions During Labor and Birth

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(4):240, July/August 2017.

A call to minimize unnecessary interventions during labor and birth for healthy low risk women in spontaneous labor by our colleagues at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is most welcome and has been endorsed by the American College of Nurse-Midwives and the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses.

Clinical Implications of Fetal Heart Rate Interpretation Based on Underlying Physiology

O'Brien-Abel, Nancy

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(2):82-91, March/April 2020.

Understanding the physiology of fetal oxygenation and various influences on the fetal heart rate supports nurses, midwives, and physicians in interpreting and managing electronic fetal heart rate tracings during labor and birth. A review and update on clinical implications of fetal heart rate pattern interpretation based on underlying physiology is presented.

Birth and Breastfeeding in the Hospital Setting during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Spatz, Diane Lynn; Froh, Elizabeth B.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(1):30-35, January/February 2021.

In this study, women describe their experiences with being pregnant, getting prenatal care, childbirth education, giving birth, breastfeeding, and newborn visits during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supportive nursing care and consistent messaging from caregivers were very important to help them handle the stress and uncertainty of the childbirth process in the midst of the pandemic.

Ongoing Crisis in Lack of Maternity Services in Rural America

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(2):132, March/April 2020.

Many women have limited access to basic maternity services in areas of the United States where there are no nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, family medicine physicians, or obstetricians, and no hospital with a maternity unit. Recommendations from the March of Dimes and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for solving the crisis of maternity care deserts are reviewed.

A System-Wide Approach to Prevention of In-Hospital Newborn Falls

Carr, Hester; Crotto, Joshua; Demirel, Shaban; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(2):100-107, March/April 2019.

There has been a lot of attention to decreasing newborn falls in the inpatient setting. In this quality improvement project, after reviewing their event data and current evidence, one health system implemented a number of interventions to decrease the rate of newborn falls.

Perceptions of Adult Women on Losing Their Mothers at an Early Age: Implications for Nursing Care During Childbirth

Gunn, Jennie; Huebner, Carroll Gunn; McCoy, Kristen

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(3):126-132, May/June 2018.

Loss of mother during childhood can be a devastating blow to the child, with multiple implications that last a lifetime. In this study, adult women who lost their mother during childhood share their perceptions of how this loss has affected many aspects of their life. The researchers offer suggestions for incorporating the findings into nursing care of women in this unique group during the childbirth process.

The American Nurses Association's White Paper on Nurse Staffing : Clinical and Economic Benefits of Appropriate Staffing

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 41(3):139, May/June 2016.

The American Nurses Association has published a new white paper on nurse staffing Optimal Nurse Staffing to Improve Quality of Care and Patient Outcomes. All nurses should review this document to be up-to-date on the latest evidence linking appropriate nurse staffing to better outcomes for patients.

Mothers' Reasons for Early Breastfeeding Cessation

Morrison, April H.; Gentry, Retha; Anderson, Joanna

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(6):325-330, November/December 2019.

Research on maternal reasons for early breastfeeding cessation is limited. In this review, maternal explanations for stopping breastfeeding were examined. Reasons for early breastfeeding cessation are varied; however, the most common themes noted in the studies identified were perceived inadequate milk supply and breast or nipple pain. Nurses can target breastfeeding interventions in light of these findings.

Parental Decision Making in Male Circumcision

Sardi, Lauren; Livingston, Kathy

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 40(2):110-115, March/April 2015.

How do parents make the decision to have their newborn baby boy circumcised? What do they need to know and how can nurses make sure they have adequate information to make a truly informed decision?

Lower Extremity Nerve Injury in Childbirth

Wisner, Kirsten

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(3):176, May/June 2021.

During the childbirth process women are at risk for lower extremity nerve injury. Our maternity nursing expert, Dr. Wisner, reviews the recent practice brief on this topic by the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses.

Managing Gestational Diabetes Postpartum

Killion, Molly M.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(4):231, July/August 2018.

Women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk for the disease in future pregnancies and for type 2 diabetes later in life. Our maternity nursing expert, Molly Killion, discusses important information that should be offered to women with gestational diabetes during the postpartum period so they can plan lifestyle modifications to promote optimal health.

Addressing the Childhood Obesity Crisis: A Call to Action

Budd, Geraldine M.; Hayman, Laura L.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 33(2):111-118, March-April 2008.

These authors show us that it's time to stop blaming the children, and instead work toward changing the “obesigenic environment” in which we all live. Action needs to take place at the family, community, and policy level.

Pediatric Intramuscular Injections: Guidelines for Best Practice

Rishovd, Abby

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 39(2):107-112, March/April 2014.

Nurses deliver the vast majority of intramuscular injections to pediatric patients, usually in the form of vaccines. Dr. Kaniaris gives you the latest, most important evidence on how to administer IMs to children.

Breastfeeding Challenges

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(2):65, March/April 2019.

Most women intend to breastfeed; however, many women experience various challenges in reaching their breastfeeding goals. A summary of the articles in our special topics series on breastfeeding challenges is offered.

“Being Sure”: Women's Experience with Inevitable Miscarriage

Limbo, Rana; Glasser, Jo K.; Sundaram, Maria E.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 39(3):165-174, May/June 2014.

The loss of a pregnancy after 12 weeks is particularly difficult. One aspect of this loss oftentimes is the need for treatment to remove uterine contents. This requires that patients and families make choices they may not want to make.

Application of Caring Theory to Nursing Care of Women Experiencing Stillbirth

Nurse-Clarke, Natasha; DiCicco-Bloom, Barbara; Limbo, Rana

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(1):27-32, January/February 2019.

Swanson's theory of caring has application to nursing care of women experiencing stillbirth. In this study, 20 labor and birth nurses share their perceptions of caring for women who have had a stillbirth. Findings suggest the five caring processes described by Swanson enhance the nurse-patient relationship and the bereaved mother's wellbeing.

Screening for Postpartum Depression by Hospital-Based Perinatal Nurses

Logsdon, M. Cynthia; Vogt, Krista; Davis, Deborah Winders; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(6):324-329, November/December 2018.

Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth, affecting 10% to 15% of new mothers. In this study, hospital-based perinatal nurses screened women prior to discharge from the hospital after birth for postpartum depression and followed up with a telephone call several weeks later. Women were receptive to the screening and follow-up calls. Nurses are in an optimal position to screen for postpartum depression and make sure women get appropriate and timely referral and treament.

Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Mental Health of Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults

Beal, Judy A.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(4):237, July/August 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused much stress and anxiety among children, adolescents, and young adults in the United States. Our pediatric nursing expert, Dr. Beal, reviews the latest literature and offers suggestions that nurses can use in clinical pediatric care.

Clinical Alarm Management

McCartney, Patricia Robin

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 37(3):202, May/June 2012.

Clinical alarm management is a top health information technology concern for 2012, and few health care providers encounter more alarms than nurses.

Pregnant African American Women's Perceptions of Neighborhood, Racial Discrimination, and Psychological Distress as Influences on Birth Outcomes

Dove-Medows, Emily; Deriemacker, Amanda; Dailey, Rhonda; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(1):49-56, January/February 2020.

African American women are more likely to experience preterm birth compared with White women. Social factors such as neighborhood disorder and experiences of racial discrimination, which disproportionately affect African American women, may partially explain these disparities. In this study pregnant African American women were interviewed to get their perceptions of neighborhood disorder, racial discrimination, and psychological distress and whether these concepts were viewed as influences on birth outcomes.

Breastfeeding Support Guided by Swanson's Theory of Caring

Miller, Carrie Westmoreland; Wojnar, Danuta

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(6):351-356, November/December 2019.

Swanson's Theory of Caring can be useful in developing caring methods of offering breastfeeding support to new mothers. In this study, discussions of new mothers about the breastfeeding support they received in the hospital are analyzed using the caring theory as a framework.

The Maternal Fetal Triage Index: A Standardized Approach to OB Triage

Killion, Molly M.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 41(6):372, November/December 2016.

The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses has developed and validated the Maternal Fetal Triage Index. This standardized approach to assessing and assigning acuity of pregnant women who present to the hospital for care may be an effective and safe way to allocate care and resources. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also is recommending use of this type of tool.

Fetal Heart Monitoring Prior to Cesarean Birth

Wisner, Kirsten

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 40(3):193, May/June 2015.

What is recommended for fetal assessment prior to cesarean birth? Do all women need continuous electronic fetal monitoring?

Screen Time and Toddlers: New Evidence on Potentially Negative Effects

Beal, Judy A.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(4):241, July/August 2020.

As more evidence becomes available about the negative effects of screen time for young children, pediatric nurses can help parents develop a family plan to minimize risk from exposure to excessive screen time. Our pediatric nursing expert, Dr. Beal, explains the new evidence on screen time and toddlers.

Care During Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum, and Human Milk Feeding for Individuals Who Identify as LGBTQ+

Griggs, Kellie M.; Waddill, Colette B.; Bice, April; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(1):43-53, January/February 2021.

Individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ need and deserve respectful, affirming, compassionate care during pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, and human milk feeding. A review is offered to promote high quality nursing care for this population. Details of providing human milk including inducing lactation and co-lactating are covered in detail.

Maternal Experience with Neonatal Jaundice

Brethauer, Margaret; Carey, Lynn

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 35(1):8-14, January-February 2010.

These nurses wanted to know what happens to mothers who are sent home with a baby with jaundice. What do they experience? What do they need?

Improving Maternity Care by Eliminating Racism and Inequities

Killion, Molly M.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(2):123, March/April 2021.

Maternity care in the United States is not equitable for all women. Black and Indigenous People of Color have poorer maternal and neonatal outcomes when compared to white women. Our maternity nursing expert, Molly Killion, discussed several recent publications on maternity care inequities and racism and how the health care system can be improved so that all women and babies have the same opportunities for good health.

A Case Study of Postpartum Depression & Altered Maternal-Newborn Attachment

Zauderer, Cheryl R.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 33(3):173-178, May-June 2008.

This new mother suffered from PPD and was helped by this nurse practitioner. Find out what happened.

Implications of Missed Care, Nurse Staffing, and the Nursing Work Environment on Patient Outcomes in Maternity, Neonatal, and Pediatric Inpatient Settings

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(5):253, September/October 2020.

In this special topics series on maternity, neonatal, and pediatric nurse staffing and the nursing work environment, we present four studies that cover challenges of practicing in stressful clinical settings including inadequate nurse staffing and unsafe environments, relative to potential implications for patients and nurses. Missed, delayed, and incomplete nursing care is now being studied in these specialty settings with a focus on links to patient outcomes. Two of the studies specifically included hospitals' adherence to the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses nurse staffing guidelines as a factor in their findings and clinical implications.

Facilitating Early Breast Milk Expression in Mothers of Very Low Birth Weight Infants

Parker, Leslie Ann; Hoffman, Jacqueline; Darcy-Mahoney, Ashley

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(2):105-110, March/April 2018.

Early initiation of breastfeeding or breast milk expression is important soon after birth to enhance milk production. Often mothers who give birth preterm have a cesarean, which can delay milk expression. This survey of maternity nurses offers information about their perceived barriers to timely breastmilk expression for mothers of very low birth weight babies.

Differentiating Between Food Security and Insecurity

Morin, Karen H.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 39(6):381, November/December 2014.

Food insecurity is not the same as hunger. Learn what food security and insecurity mean in the context of ease of accessibility to food, anxiety, and eating patterns.

Prenatal Care for American Indian Women

Johnson, Mary Beth

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(4):221-227, July/August 2020.

American Indian women face many challenges in accessing maternal and infant care during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. A review of the evidence is presented with suggestions for home visits as a potential solution to improve maternity care access and enhance outcomes.

Preterm Labor and Birth: A Clinical Review

Griggs, Kellie M.; Hrelic, Debra A.; Williams, Nina; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(6):328-337, November/December 2020.

An overview of current evidence on risk factors and treatment for preterm labor and birth is presented.

Postpartum Depression in American Indian/Alaska Native Women: A Scoping Review

Heck, Jennifer L.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(1):6-13, January/February 2021.

American Indian, Native Alaskan, and Indigenous women are not well represented in the postpartum depression literature. In this review, gaps in the literature are identified and suggestions for future research are offered.

Maternal Mental Health

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(1):59, January/February 2022.

Approximately 1 out of 5 women experience a mental health condition such as anxiety or depression during pregnancy or postpartum. Routine screening and timely referral and treatment are key to promoting optimal outcomes for mothers and babies. While screening during postpartum visits is becoming more common, adding screening for mothers of babies in the NICU and during well baby visits can help to make sure all new mothers are included.

Effectiveness of Discharge Education on Postpartum Depression

McCarter-Spaulding, Deborah; Shea, Stephen

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 41(3):168-172, May/June 2016.

Postpartum depression is a serious condition that disproportionately affects women of low socioeconomic status and women with a history of prior depression or anxiety. This study evaluated efficacy of an education intervention for women during postpartum hospitalization in minimizing risk of depression at 6 weeks, 3 months or 6 months postpartum.

New Mothers' Experiences with Online Postpartum Forums

Teaford, Dominique; McNiesh, Susan; Goyal, Deepika

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(1):40-45, January/February 2019.

Most new mothers use the Internet. An on-line forum for new mothers can offer peer support, especially in the first few months at home with the new baby. In this study, new mothers describe their experiences with on-line support during the first six months postpartum.

A Pilot Randomized Control Trial to Assess the Impact of Lavender on Anxiety and Comfort After Cesarean Birth and the Barriers Encountered

Burgess, Adriane; Harris, Amy; Wheeling, Julia

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(2):85-91, March/April 2022.

Aromatherapy can be an option for pain relief and comfort measures for women after cesarean birth. In this randomized controlled clinical trial, women were offered lavendar tablets or a placebo in the early hours after cesarean birth when they were admitted to the mother-baby unit. Women found the lavendar to be a comforting postcesarean intervention. These hospital-based nurse scientists share their experiences in conducting a randomized controlled clincal trial in a community hospital.

Group Prenatal Care and Maternal Outcomes: A Scoping Review

Tucker, Curisa M.; Felder, Tisha M.; Dail, Robin B.; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(6):314-322, November/December 2021.

Group prenatal care has potential to enhance pregnancy outcomes, however the focus of most studies of group prenatal care has been on neonatal outcomes. Little is known about the effect of group prenatal care on maternal outcomes. In this scoping review, results of studies comparing group prenatal care with traditional one-on-one prenatal care are analyzed, gaps in the literature are identified, and recommendations for research are offered.

Avoiding Confusion of Maternal Heart Rate With Fetal Heart Rate During Labor

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 36(4):272, July-August 2011.

It can happen, and the results can be devastating. Dr. Simpson explains how you can avoid this perinatal patient safety pitfall.

Using Gender-Neutral Terms in Lactation

Spatz, Diane L.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(1):61, January/February 2020.

Recently, the International Lactation Consultants Association released a statement about using inclusive language for lactation. Recommendations include using the term “human milk” rather than “breast milk” or “mother's own milk” and using the term “parent(s)” instead of gendered language. Our expert on breastfeeding, Dr. Spatz, explains how we can apply gender-neutral terminology to all aspects of lactation.

Pregnant Women's Reports of the Impact of COVID-19 on Pregnancy, Prenatal Care, and Infant Feeding Plans

Burgess, Adriane; Breman, Rachel Blankstein; Bradley, Dani; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(1):21-29, January/February 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on all aspects of health care including prenatal care, childbirth, and infant feeding. In this research, an interdisciplinary group of clinicians surveyed pregnant women across the United States using a pregnancy app to see how the pandemic has affected them during the childbirth process. The voices of these new mothers are highlighted in this study.

“It Took Away the Joy:” First American Mothers' Experiences with Postpartum Depression

Heck, Jennifer L.; Wilson, Janet Sullivan; Parker, Judy Goforth

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(1):13-18, January/February 2022.

First American women have a disproportionate prevalence of postpartum depression when compared to all women in the United States, but little is known about their perspectives of experiencing this common childbirth complication. In this community-based participatory phenomenological study, First American women describe how it was to have postpartum depression. They were worried about the stigma of postpartum depression and wanted to be 'good mothers.” As with other First American women, they relied on their mothers and grandmothers for support. An understanding of cultural norms and practices is an essential aspect of nursing care of women of all ethnic and minoritized groups.

Psychosocial Factors and Preterm Birth Among Black Mothers and Fathers

Giurgescu, Carmen; Misra, Dawn P.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(5):245-251, September/October 2018.

Black mother-Black father couples are two times more likely to have preterm birth compared to White mother-White father couples. In a review of the literature, potential factors for this disparity are explored. Gaps in evidence are highlighted. Suggestions for action based on what is known are offered.

Transition to Safe Sleep at Home Needs a Consistent Approach for NICU Babies and Their Parents

Beal, Judy A.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(1):53, January/February 2022.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has long recommended transition to safe sleep positioning for NICU babies as soon as medically feasible before hospital discharge and sharing information about safe sleep with parents to promote safe sleep practices at home. Our pediatric nursing expert, Dr. Beal, covers the most recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics on safe sleep practices in the NICU.

Postpartum Depression Screening for Mothers of Babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Berns, Hannah M.; Drake, Diana

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(6):323-329, November/December 2021.

Mothers of babies in the neonatal intensive care unit are at greater risk for postpartum depression than mothers of healthy newborns. Screening mothers for postpartum depression while their babies are in the neonatal intensive care unit may be an effective way to avoid missing mothers who are experiencing this very common complication of childbirth. A quality improvement project is presented with details of initiating screening and efficacy of the process.

Placentophagy: What Should Nurses Recommend?

Killion, Molly M.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(2):111, March/April 2018.

There is a small but growing trend of women asking for their placenta after giving birth so they can have it prepared for ingestion during the postpartum period. Our maternity nursing expert, Molly Killion, explains what you need to know about placentophagy so you can offer evidence-based guidance to women who may have this request.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Maternal Mental Health

Selix, Nancy; Henshaw, Erin; Barrera, Alinne; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(4):226-231, July/August 2017.

Creating an interdisciplinary approach for maternal mental health that includes professionals involved in policy, research, community advocacy, and clinical practice can improve access to care, streamline services, and improve maternal health outcomes. This article offers examples of interdisciplinary approaches that blend technology, education, research, policy, primary care, and mental health services and discusses their benefits and challenges for maternal mental health services.

Nurse Staffing, Missed Care, and Risk of Patient Mortality

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(2):115, March/April 2022.

Perinatal patient safety depends on adequate nurse staffing. When nurses are working short-staffed, essential aspects of nursing care can be missed, which increases risk of adverse patient outcomes. Examples of risks of patient morbidity and mortality associated with missed nursing care are presented.

Randomized Controlled Trial of Use of the Peanut Ball During Labor

Roth, Cheryl; Dent, Sarah A.; Parfitt, Sheryl E.; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 41(3):140-146, May/June 2016.

The peanut ball is a specific type of birthing ball used by some women in labor. It may be helpful in maternal positioning and promoting labor progress. A randomized trial of peanut ball use is reported.

Postpartum Depression and Culture: Pesado Corazon

Callister, Lynn Clark; Beckstrand, Renea L.; Corbett, Cheryl

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 35(5):254-261, September-October 2010.

Postpartum depression has rarely been studied in culturally diverse women. Dr. Callister and her colleagues have reviewed the literature on this topic for you.

The Built Environment and Birth Outcomes: A Systematic Review

Nowak, Alexandra L.; Giurgescu, Carmen

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(1):14-20, January/February 2017.

A poor-quality built environment may be related to negative birth outcomes such as preterm birth and low birthweight infants by increasing psychological stress and/or depressive symptoms for pregnant women. African American women are more likely to live in poor-quality built environments compared with white women and therefore may be at greater risk.

Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths: New Study Findings Related to Day of Life

Beal, Judy A.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(3):185, May/June 2020.

New data on classification and risk factors for sudden unexplained infant deaths based on age of infants at death have been published. Our pediatric nursing expert, Dr. Beal, explains the study findings and how they can help nurses promote safe infant sleep.

Relationship Between Infant Tongue-Tie and Maternal Wellbeing

Hill, Rebecca R.; Wong, John; Parikh, Gayatri S.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(5):258-263, September/October 2021.

Tongue-tie is a mild oral anomaly that can cause feeding challenges, especially for breastfeeding mothers and infants. Delayed diagnosis may increase risk of maternal stress and impaired mother-infant bonding when feeding does not go as planned. Findings from this study of 113 mothers of infants with tongue-tie included importance of its early assessment, diagnosis, and management. Partner support is helpful in fostering the mother-infant relationship. More research is needed to understand barriers to appropriate referrals and to delay in treatment of tongue-tie.

Gentle Cesarean Birth

Wisner, Kirsten

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 41(3):186, May/June 2016.

What can be done during cesarean birth to promote the birth aspect of the procedure while keeping the surgical safety processes in place to protect mother and baby? Our maternity nursing expert explains this trend in care during childbirth.

Risks and Benefits of Swaddling Healthy Infants: An Integrative Review

Nelson, Antonia M.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(4):216-225, July/August 2017.

Swaddling has been practiced for ages; however, there is controversy about its safety. This integrative review covers recent evidence on various issues about infant swaddling so nurses can offer accurate advice to parents and infant caregivers.

Culturally Sensitive Care of Immigrant and Refugee Mothers with Babies in the NICU

Callister, Lynn Clark

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(1):55, January/February 2022.

Immigrant and refugee mothers with babies in the NICU face many challenges including barriers due to language, culture, unfamiliar hospital procedures, and lack of trust. Our global health and nursing expert, Dr. Callister, reviews recent studies on how to promote effective communication and culturally competent care of this vulnerable population.