Most Popular Articles

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.

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.

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.

Labor Nurses' Views of Their Influence on Cesarean Birth

Simpson, Kathleen Rice; Lyndon, Audrey

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(2):81-87, March/April 2017.

Nurses play an important role in helping women in labor avoid avoid a cesarean birth. They offer emotional encouragement, various labor support techniques, and information on what to expect as strategies to promote vaginal birth. They focus on the positve aspects of labor progress when communicating with physicians. The dynamics of the nurse-physician relationship is at times challenging as labor nurses do not always perceive their physician colleage share the same goals and investment for mode of birth.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Newborn Safety Bundle to Prevent Falls and Promote Safe Sleep

Lipke, Bethann; Gilbert, Gael; Shimer, Heather; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(1):32-37, January/February 2018.

It is not uncommon for mothers to fall asleep while holding their baby during postpartum hospitalization. In this context, newborn babies are at risk for falls and suffocation. The clinical team at one hospital developed a newborn infant safety bundle to promote safe sleep and minimize risk of infant falls and drops. Results are promising in preventing unsafe sleep conditions and newborn falls.

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.

I Wouldn't Let it Get to Me: Pregnant Black Women's Experiences of Discrimination

Dove-Medows, Emily; Thompson, Lucy; McCracken, Lindsey; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(3):137-142, May/June 2021.

Black women in the United States experience disproportionately higher rates of adverse birth outcomes including preterm birth and low birth weight infants compared with White women. Racial discrimination has been associated with adverse birth outcomes. In this qualitative study, new insight into the nuanced ways in which Black pregnant women experience racial discrimination are presented.

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.

Pregnancy and Oral Health: A Review and Recommendations to Reduce Gaps in Practice and Research

Russell, Stefanie L.; Mayberry, Linda J.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 33(1):32-37, January-February 2008.

A lot has been written in the research literature during the past decade about pregnancy and oral health, and these authors, a dentist and a nurse scientist, tie all the information together for you.

Overcoming the Challenges: Maternal Movement and Positioning to Facilitate Labor Progress

Zwelling, Elaine

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 35(2):72-78, March-April 2010.

Dr. Zwelling, a world class expert on positioning in labor, shares her knowledge with MCN'sreaders. Elaine Zwelling, PhD, RN, LCCE, FACCE

Factors Affecting Uncertainty in Women with High-Risk Pregnancies

Schmuke, Ashley D.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(6):317-324, November/December 2019.

In this integrative review, women's uncertainty in high risk pregnancy is explored. Uncertainty is influenced by various personal, pregnancy-related, demographic, and health care-related factors. Nurses who appreciate the significance of uncertainty during pregnancy have the opportunity to help women in their understanding of a high-risk diagnosis during pregnancy through anticipatory guidance.

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.

Substance Use Disorder: Prenatal, Intrapartum and Postpartum Care

Mahoney, Kathleen; Reich, Wendy; Urbanek, Susan

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(5):284-288, September/October 2019.

There has been a dramatic increase in the United States in the number of women who present with substance use disorder during pregnancy. An overview of care for women with substance use disorder during the childbearing process continuum is provided.

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.

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.

Nurses' Knowledge and Teaching of Possible Postpartum Complications

Suplee, Patricia D.; Bingham, Debra; Kleppel, Lisa

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(6):338-344, November/December 2017.

In this study, registered nurses who care for women during postpartum were surveyed to assess their knowledge of maternal morbidity and mortality, and the information they share with women before discharge from the hospital about potential warning signs of postpartum complications. Findings suggest postpartum nurses need an update on these topics so they can offer women accurate information before their hospital discharge after childbirth that is vital to their wellbeing during the postpartum period.

Interventions that Enhance Breastfeeding Initiation, Duration, and Exclusivity: A Systematic Review

Wood, Natsuko K.; Woods, Nancy F.; Blackburn, Susan T.; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 41(5):299-307, September/October 2016.

Results of this systematic review highlight the significant gaps in knowledge about effective interventions to promote successful breastfeeding.

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.

Implementing Skin-to-Skin Care in the Operating Room After Cesarean Birth

Sundin, Courtney Stanley; Mazac, Lauren Bradham

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 40(4):249-255, July/August 2015.

Placing the baby skin to skin with the mother in the OR after cesarean birth may have positive implications for maternal satisfaction with the birth experience and maternal perceptions of pain during the surgical procedure. Infant safety should be supported by a nurse with the mother and baby during the skin to skin process.

Health Professionals' Practices and Attitudes About Miscarriage

Engel, Joyce; Rempel, Lynn

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 41(1):51-57, January/February 2016.

Many women come to the emergency department when they are having a miscarriage; however, nurses and physicians in the emergency department do not always know how to best help women through this devastating life event.

Predictors of HIV Risk Reduction in Adolescent Girls

Long-Middleton, Ellen R.; Burke, Pamela J.; Rankin, Sally H.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(3):150-156, May/June 2019.

HIV and AIDS remain significant public health problems. In this study, 224 adolescent girls were surveyed about their sexual activity and related HIV prevention behaviors. Mastery and self-esteem, variables that commonly explain health enhancing behaviors, were not associated with HIV risk reduction behaviors. Findings suggest HIV prevention efforts by nurses should be universal during care of adolescents and that these efforts need to intensify as adolescents age.

Probiotics for the Management of Infantile Colic: A Systematic Review

Simonson, Jennifer; Haglund, Kristin; Weber, Emma; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(2):88-96, March/April 2021.

Colic is defined as periods of inconsolable crying, fussing or irritability that have no apparent cause and occur in healthy infants under 5 months of age. Although colic is a benign and self-limiting condition, it can be distressing to parents and there are few robust treatment interventions. This systematic review explored the evidence for administration of probiotics to prevent or decrease symptoms of colic. Based on the evidence, probiotics (especially the strain Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938) can safely be recommended if parents desire a treatment option for their infants with colic.


Rosen, Irene M.; Krueger, Mary V.; Carney, Lorraine M.; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 33(5):315-319, September-October 2008.

Breastfeeding is best. We all know that. Does it matter what type of breastfeeding class is offered to women? Do prenatal classes result in higher rates of breastfeeding than postpartum classes?

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.

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.

Teen Mothers' Mental Health

SmithBattle, Lee; Freed, Patricia

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 41(1):31-36, January/February 2016.

Teen mothers often have psychological distress. High rates of distress are attributed to teen mothers' childhood adversities and the difficulties of parenting in the context of chronic stress, cumulative disadvantage, and limited social support.

Early Skin-to-Skin After Cesarean to Improve Breastfeeding

Hung, Kristina J.; Berg, Ocean

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 36(5):318-324, September-October 2011.

Nurses have been in the forefront of studying family-centered methods of newborn care which not only promote attachment, but also improve health markers. In this QI project, nurses show how skin-to-skin care improves rates of one more important marker: breastfeeding after cesarean birth.

A Nurse-Directed Model for Nitrous Oxide Use During Labor

Pinyan, Toni; Curlee, Kelly; Keever, Mellanie; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(3):160-165, May/June 2017.

Nitrous oxide is becoming more widely available to women laboring and giving birth in the United States. A nurse-directed model for offering nitrous oxide during labor in a small volume perinatal service in a rural community hospital is presented.

Interdisciplinary Feeding Team: A Medical, Motor, Behavioral Approach to Complex Pediatric Feeding Problems

McComish, Cara; Brackett, Kristen; Kelly, Maureen; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 41(4):230-236, July/August 2016.

A team approach is ideal in working with children with feeding problems and their families. Members of many disciplines can contribute to successful outcomes when children are diagnosed with feeding problems. Nurses are key members of the interdisciplinary feeding team.

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.

Hypoxia in the Term Newborn: Part One—Cardiopulmonary Physiology and Assessment

Rohan, Annie J.; Golombek, Sergio G.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 34(2):106-112, March-April 2009.

MCN is proud to publish this 3-part series on hypoxia in the term newborn. In this first part, the authors tell you what you need to know about cardiopulmonary physiology in order to provide expert care for newborns.

Nursing Support During Latent Phase Labor: A Scoping Review

Breman, Rachel Blankstein; Neerland, Carrie

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(4):197-207, July/August 2020.

Recent labor management guidelines suggest longer normal limits of latent phase labor than previously acknowledged. Nursing support during latent phase labor is an important aspect of overall nursing care during labor and birth. In this scoping review, nursing care during the latent phase of the first stage of labor is explored, common themes are identified, and recommendations for practice are offered.

Implementation of an Oxytocin Checklist to Improve Clinical Outcomes

Sundin, Courtney; Mazac, Lauren; Ellis, Kathleen; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(3):133-138, May/June 2018.

Oxytocin checklists can be helpful in standardizing clinical practice during induction and augmentation of labor. In this quality improvement project, the authors found use of the checklist was favorably received by the labor nurses and was associated with several positive clinical outcomes such as a lower cesarean birth rate, a shorter first stage labor, less tachysystole, less overall dose of oxytocin, and less need to titrate the dose based on uterine or fetal status.

Effective Communication Strategies for Nurses to Discuss Infant Feeding with New Mothers During Postpartum Hospitalization

Wood, Rainey Banick

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(4):218-224, July/August 2018.

Nurses offer education and support to new mothers on infant feeding during postpartum hospitalization. There is overwhelming evidence that breastfeeding is best for most mothers and babies, however not all mothers choose to breastfeed and breastfeeding is contraindicated in some cases. Effective communication techniques to discuss infant feeding options are offered, with an emphasis on providing a supportive, therapeutic discussion with new mothers who choose to formula feed their babies.

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.

Barriers to Skin-to-Skin Contact after Cesarean Birth

Balatero, Joelene S.; Spilker, Arlene F.; McNiesh, Susan G.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(3):137-143, May/June 2019.

Women usually have skin-to-skin contact with their healthy newborns immediately after vaginal birth, however this is not routine practice in the surgical suite after cesarean birth. In this study, nurses who care for women during labor and birth discuss their perceptions of barriers to skin-to-skin after cesarean birth and what can be done to promote the practice.

Impact of a Formal Breastfeeding Education Program

Mellin, Pamela S.; Poplawski, Donna T.; Gole, Amy; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 36(2):82-88, March-April 2011.

This study shows how an educational program and adherence to protocols can increase exclusive breastfeeding as well as improve health care provider knowledge, comfort level and attitudes about breastfeeding

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?

Review of Interventions to Relieve Postpartum Pain From Perineal Trauma

Robin Petersen, Melanie

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 36(4):241-245, July-August 2011.

When is the best time to begin non-pharmaceutical interventions for perineal pain? What materials should be used? Should your institution invest in commercial cold packs?

Connecting with Families through Virtual Perinatal Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Pasadino, Francine; DeMarco, Kathleen; Lampert, Elizabeth

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(6):364-370, November/December 2020.

Many changes to maternity care have been initiated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. New York City was one of the initial epicenters of the virus in the United States. In this article, nurses from a hospital system in New York City share their experiences in abruptly transitioning all of their perinatal education classes to a virtual format to meet the needs of their patients while keeping them safe.

Postpartum Depression Screening for New Mothers at Well Child Visits

Emerson, Margaret R.; Mathews, Therese L.; Struwe, Leeza

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(3):139-145, May/June 2018.

Pediatric well child visits offer an opportunity to screen new mothers for postpartum depression. This study examines the feasibility of screening for postpartum depression in the pediatric ambulatory setting, the content of the discussion about postpartum depression with the new mother and the pediatric provider, and prevalence of postpartum depressions among study participants.

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.

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.

Breastfeeding Knowledge of University Nursing Students

Ahmed, Azza; Bantz, Diana; Richardson, Clara

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 36(6):361-367, November-December 2011.

Nursing students were found to have general information about the benefits of breastfeeding, but little knowledge about physiology or breastfeeding management.

Impact of COVID-19 on Maternal Mental Health

Goyal, Deepika; Selix, Nancy W.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(2):103-109, March/April 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to have a negative affect on maternal mental health. Social isolation and lack of expected family support during preganancy and postpostum are possible factors. The authors present an overview of what is known and what nurses can do to help pregnant women during the pandemic.

Compassion Fatigue Among Pediatric Healthcare Providers

Branch, Carole; Klinkenberg, Dean

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 40(3):160-166, May/June 2015.

Pediatric nurses caring for chronically and acutely ill children are at increased risk for developing compassion fatigue. This study evaluated compassion fatigue of pediatric nurses and allied health professionals in an academic pediatric hospital. Based on results, a program that includes recognition of signs of burnout and compassion fatigue and self-help measures has been developed and implemented at the hospital.

Maternity Nurses' Perceptions of Implementation of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding

Cunningham, Emilie M.; Doyle, Eva I.; Bowden, Rodney G.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(1):38-43, January/February 2018.

Nurses are vital to successful implementation of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. This study evaluated maternity nurses' perceptions of promoting the Ten Steps in the hospital setting and their suggestions for how to overcome barriers and challenges.

Oral Sucrose Versus Breastfeeding in Managing Infants' Immunization-Related Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Gad, Rasha F.; Dowling, Donna A.; Abusaad, Fawzia E.; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(2):108-114, March/April 2019.

Immunization is one of the most painful procedures in infancy and causes anxiety and distress for infants and their parents. In this randomized controlled trial, during immunization, 120 babies up to six months old were randomized to breastfeeding, oral sucrose, or the usual comforting measures. Measures of pain were lower in the breastfeeding group. Breastfeeding during immunization should be offered to women and their babies routinely as a pain avoidance procedure.

Secondary Traumatic Stress Among Labor and Delivery Nurses

Nicholls, Erika M.; Hermann, Robin M.; Giordano, Nicholas A.; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(1):14-20, January/February 2021.

Nurses who care for women during labor and birth often witness traumatic events such as pregnancy loss, a stillborn baby, perineal trauma, difficult operative vaginal birth, a depressed newborn at birth, maternal complications including amniotic fluid embolism, massive postpartum hemorrhage and at times, maternal death. These events can lead to secondary traumatic stress. In this study, labor and birth nurses in one three-hospital system share their experiences with secondary traumatic stress.

Delaying the First Newborn Bath and Exclusive Breastfeeding

Long, Kathleen; Rondinelli, June; Yim, Ashley; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(2):110-115, March/April 2020.

Delaying the first newborn bath has been suggested as a strategy to improve exclusive breastfeeding rates during postpartum hospitalization. In this study, exclusive breastfeeding rates were compared before and after a change in practice in newborn bathing in a maternity unit where exclusive breastfeeding rates were higher than average rates in the United States. The practice change was successful and sustained over 10 months, but did not significantly increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding among the mother-infant cohorts studied.

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.

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.

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.

Use of Traditional Birth Practices by Chinese Women in the United States

Saito, Maki; Lyndon, Audrey

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(3):153-159, May/June 2017.

With globalization, many women are giving birth in countries other than where they were born. This study explores use of traditional birth practices by Chinese women in the United States. Chinese women giving birth in the United States respect traditional childbirth practices, while building their own views of each tradition by integrating an evaluation of Chinese and American perspectives.

Virtual Visits: Managing prenatal care with modern technology

Pflugeisen, Bethann M.; McCarren, Christi; Poore, Stephen; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 41(1):24-30, January/February 2016.

Virtual prenatal visits interspersed with in-office visits are a novel way to meet the needs of healthy low-risk pregnant women and may offer the ability to improve efficiency while decreasing costs.

Nurses as Primary Advocates for Immunization Adherence

Wade, Gail Holland

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 39(6):351-356, November/December 2014.

Nurses can be helpful in promoting childhood immunizations when they have adequate data to share with parents. This article provides up-to-date evidence for nurses about childhood immunizations.

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?

Barriers to Breastfeeding in the WIC Population

Hedberg, Inga C

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 38(4):244-249, July/August 2013.

This review highlights complex reasons behind low breastfeeding rates among women enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.

Music Therapy To Relieve Anxiety In Pregnant Women On Bedrest: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Yang, Min; Li, Lingjiang; Zhu, Haili; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 34(5):316-323, September-October 2009.

What's the saying? Music soothes...Well, these researchers looked at how it works for high-risk pregnant women on bedrest. Read about this randomized, controlled trial.

Association of Clinical Nursing Work Environment with Quality and Safety in Maternity Care in the United States

Clark, Rebecca R. S.; Lake, Eileen T.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(5):265-270, September/October 2020.

This study included 1,165 nurses from 166 maternity units in four states. One-third of nurses gave their units an overall safety grade of “excellent,” but this decreased to less than one-sixth of nurses in units with poor work environments. Overall, 65% of nurses reported that their mistakes were held against them. A good work environment, compared to a poor work environment, was significantly associated with fewer nurses grading safety as poor.

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.

Beginning at the Bottom: Evidence-Based Care of Diaper Dermatitis

Heimall, Lauren M.; Storey, Beth; Stellar, Judith J.; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 37(1):10-16, January/February 2012.

Have you witnessed a clinical practice in your institution and said to yourself “Why do we do that?” These nurses did and put together a strong evidence-based practice change. You can use this as a model.

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.

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.

Neonatal Neuroprotection: Bringing Best Practice to the Bedside in the NICU

Lockridge, Terrie

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(2):66-76, March/April 2018.

Concern for the impact of the NICU experience on the developing infant brain led to a unit-based quality improvement project to promote best neonatal outcomes. A multidisciplinary committee evaluated current evidence and developed the Neonatal Neuroprotective Best Practice Guidelines to identify optimal interventions, as well as provide physiologic rationales to reinforce importance of the practices for the clinical team. The process of developing and implementing the guidelines are 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.

Skin-to-Skin Care and Rooming-In: Safety Considerations

Killion, Molly M.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(2):115, March/April 2017.

New recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics about safety considerations during skin to skin in the first few hours of life and rooming in practices for new mothers and babies during the postpartum inpatient stay are discussed.

The Maternal Gut Microbiome During Pregnancy

Edwards, Sara M.; Cunningham, Solveig A.; Dunlop, Anne L.; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(6):310-317, November/December 2017.

The prenatal period is marked by unique inflammatory and immune changes that alter maternal gut function and bacterial composition as pregnancy advances. Normal hormonal, metabolic and immunologic changes to the maternal gut microbiome throughout the prenatal period are reviewed, including relevant implications for nurses providing care for pregnant women.

Interdisciplinary Guidelines for Care of Women Presenting to the Emergency Department With Pregnancy Loss

Catlin, Anita

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(1):13-18, January/February 2018.

An interdisciplinary summit was held to explore the needs of women who present to the emergency department with actual or potential pregnancy loss. Thirty-two experts in the field of pregnancy loss, 17 of whom represented their professional organizations, participated. The guidelines that were developed delineate how to better provide physical, emotional, and bereavement support to woman and their families at any stage of pregnancy loss. Reprinted with permission from The National Perinatal Association.

Sepsis in Obstetrics: Treatment, Prognosis, and Prevention

Parfitt, Sheryl E.; Bogat, Mary L.; Roth, Cheryl

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(4):206-209, July/August 2017.

Sepsis during pregnancy is one of the five leading causes of maternal mortality world-wide. Early recognition and prompt treatment are necessary to improve patient outcomes. Case studies, treatment strategies, prognosis, suggestions for education for clinicians and patients, and recommendations to prevent maternal sepsis are included.

Promoting Oral Health From Birth Through Childhood: Prevention of Early Childhood Caries

Yost, Jennifer; Li, Yihong

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 33(1):17-23, January-February 2008.

Are you aware of the dangers of early childhood caries? Did you even know about this diagnosis? How does it happen? What can you, as a nurse, do to prevent it?

Experiences of Women with Postpartum Depression Participating in a Support Group Led by Mental Health Providers

Cook, Carolyn; Goyal, Deepika; Allen, Monica

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(4):228-233, July/August 2019.

In this study, women with postpartum depression who participated in a postpartum support group facilitated by mental health professionals, offered their thoughts on how the support group helped them cope and manage their postpartum depression. They felt supported, were more likely to disclose their symptoms to other women in the same situation, and were able to share their feelings without fear of judgement. Nurses should be aware of these types of services in the community so they can refer women as needed.

Oral Feeding Readiness Assessment in Premature Infants

Gennattasio, Annmarie; Perri, Elizabeth A.; Baranek, Donna; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 40(2):96-104, March/April 2015.

Nurses who care for preterm babies should be able to assess and describe feeding performance in a way that allows other caregivers to understand an infant's strengths and challenges. A review of oral feeding readiness in the premature infant and strategies for promoting safe and efficient progression to full oral intake are presented.

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.

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.

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.

Understanding and Promoting Birth Satisfaction in New Mothers

Hinic, Katherine

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 42(4):210-215, July/August 2017.

How do new mothers perceive the birth process? What contributes to their satisfaction with their childbirth experince? This study examines these issues among a group of new mothers during the first few days postpartum and offers insights on the type of care that women appreciate and desire during labor and birth.

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.

Chorioamnionitis: Prevention and Management

Hastings-Tolsma, Marie; Bernard, Rachel; Brody, Mollie Gilbert; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 38(4):206-212, July/August 2013.

Perinatal nursing practices may influence a laboring woman's risk of developing chorioamnionitis.

Prevention of Pruritis following Spinal Morphine for Scheduled Cesarean Birth

Payne, Christopher; Curtis, Brian; Dan, Devon; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 46(2):97-102, March/April 2021.

Pruritis after cesarean birth with spinal anesthesia using morphine is dose-related and common among women postpartum. In this quality improvement project, the anesthesia team encouraged their providers to use a standardized and lower than routine dose of morphine to decrease risk of pruritis. Most anesthesia providers used the lower dose and fewer women experienced pruritis after scheduled cesarean birth when comparing rates before and after the project was initiated.