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.

Acuity Tools for the Antepartum and Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Roth, Cheryl; Dent, Sarah A.; Luster, Mary H.; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 48(1):8-16, January/February 2023.

Acuity tools for the antepartum unit and neonatal intensive care unit were developed by a group of expert nurses. Content validity and interrater reliability were established. The tools can be used to identify patient care needs, make appropriate nurse-to-patient assignments, and support safe, high-quality maternity and neonatal nursing care.

Gaps in Postnatal Support for Intended Parents

Salera-Vieira, Jean

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 48(5):238-243, September/October 2023.

Intended parents are parents who are intended to receive the baby from a gestational surrogacy pregnancy. They are often not included in routine support practices for families during postnatal care. In this study, members of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses participated in a survey describing care in their practice setting for intended parents. Gaps in services were identified and recommendations are offered to improve care for this unique group of parents.

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.

Protecting Children's Health: Asthma and Climate Change

McDermott-Levy, Ruth; Pennea, Emma; Moore, Caroline

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 48(4):188-194, July/August 2023.

Children are vulnerable to the effect of climate change. Their lungs are developing, making children with asthma especially susceptible to temperature extremes, variations in precipitation, poor air quality, and changes in pollen and flora. Nurses must support caregivers and children to link climate change to asthma care, be involved in health education, climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and policies, and develop the evidence to address climate change.

Walking on Eggshells: An Update on the Stigmatizing of Teen Mothers

SmithBattle, Lee

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(6):322-327, November/December 2020.

Teen mothers are stigmatized in the media and health care settings. Stereotypes and discrimination contribute to stress, social isolation, and health disparities. Teen mothers are keen to show that they differ from the stereotypical teen mom. A review of stigmatization of teen mothers is presented, along with suggestions for nurses to be supportive and avoid unintentional negative behaviors when caring for teen mothers.

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.

Experiences of Postpartum Depression in Women of Color

Beck, Cheryl Tatano

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 48(2):88-95, March/April 2023.

In this integrative review, cultural stigma of mental illness plus lack of knowledge of postpartum depression were found to be strong barriers to women of color seeking timely professional mental health care. Nurses can share information about perinatal mental illness to help decrease stigma and increase mental health literacy. All health care providers and policy makers must focus attention on the impact that women of color's economic and social stressors have on their postpartum depression.

A Quality Improvement Initiative to Reduce Opioid Consumption after Cesarean Birth

Burgess, Adriane; Harris, Amy; Wheeling, Julia; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(5):250-259, September/October 2019.

Reevaluation of routine prescription of opioids for postoperative pain has been one of the many responses to the opioid crisis in the United States. In this quality improvement project, an interdisciplinary team developed a bundle of nurse-initiated comfort measures to offer additional options for pain relief for women after cesarean birth. Provider order sets and prescribing practices were changed. Data were collected over the first year of the project. Opioid use during hospitalization and the amount prescribed at discharge decreased while patient satisfaction improved. Pain relief options as adjuncts to medication can be successfully integrated into clinical practice.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Anemia in Pregnancy: Screening and Clinical Management Strategies

Stanley, Angela Y.; Wallace, Jerrol B.; Hernandez, Andrea M.; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(1):25-32, January/February 2022.

Anemia during pregnancy can lead to adverse maternal and newborn outcomes. Current recommendations for screening and treatment of anemia during pregnancy are covered in detail with guidance for incorporating them into clinical practice.

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.

Challenges with Breastfeeding: Pain, Nipple Trauma, and Perceived Insufficient Milk Supply

Mahurin-Smith, Jamie

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 48(3):161-167, May/June 2023.

Breastfeeding challenges are common. In this study of over 450 new mothers who were recruited from social media, breastfeeding pain, nipple trauma, and perceived insufficient milk supply were the most frequently reported barriers to women reaching their breastfeeding goals. Nurses can use these data to advise women what to expect during breastfeeding and offer options prospectively that may help to avoid some of these situations.

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.

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.

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.

Standardizing Care of the Late Preterm Infant

Smith, Pamela C.; Yonkaitis, Catherine F.; Reigart, Melissa M.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 48(5):244-251, September/October 2023.

In this quality improvement project, efforts to promote care of late preterm infants consistent with current evidence and national standards and guidelines were initiated and evaluated in a level III perinatal center in central Illinois. Adherence to the unit policy for late preterm infants over the course of the project improved from 64% of preterm infants receiving appropriate care to 90%, after implementation of electronic record shortcuts, a breastfeeding log, and team education to promote quality care.

Safe Nurse Staffing and the 2022 AWHONN Nurse Staffing Standards

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(5):303, September/October 2022.

In June 2022, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses published updated standards for nurse staffing covering the continuum of inpatient childbirth and neonatal care. Since the first edition, published in 2010, there has been a substantial amount of evidence linking nurse staffing to patient outcomes. Safe, high-quality maternity care requires the appropriate number of nurses to provide comprehensive assessment, interventions as needed, emotional and physical support, and discharge teaching. Adequate nurse staffing can be a key factor in avoiding failure to rescue events and preventable adverse outcomes for mothers and babies hospitalized during the childbirth process.

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.

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.

Screening for Partner Postpartum Depression: A Systematic Review

Le, Joria; Alhusen, Jeanne; Dreisbach, Caitlin

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 48(3):142-150, May/June 2023.

Most of the research on postpartum depression has focused on new mothers, however their partners can experience depression during postpartum as well. In this systematic review, articles that described screening tools for partner postpartum depression are evaluated. Recommendations for nursing practice 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.

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.

Korean Immigrant Women's Postpartum Experiences in the United States

Han, Meekyung; Goyal, Deepika; Lee, Jiyoung; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(1):42-48, January/February 2020.

Korean Americans are one of the six largest Asian American subgroups, representing 9% of the Asian American population in the United States, however they have not been well represented in studies of postpartum depression. In this study, Korean women who had immigrated to the United States were interviewed about their postpartum experience.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pediatric Specialty Nursing Associations and their Role in Leadership Development

Beal, Judy A.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(6):327-336, November/December 2022.

In this scoping review, articles about pediatric specialty nursing associations and their role in leadership development were evaluated, along with the websites of the 10 current pediatric nursing specialty organizations. Although there are leadership programs sponsored by professional nursing organizations and mentions of leadership in their mission and “about us” statements, there is very little empirical evidence of the contributions that pediatric nursing specialty bodies make to the development of nurse leaders. Future research is needed to empirically support the value of professional organizations to their members.

Fathering on Tenuous Ground: A Qualitative Meta-Synthesis on Teen Fathering

SmithBattle, Lee; Phengnum, Wisitsri; Shagavah, Anne Winnie; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(4):186-194, July/August 2019.

In this meta-synthesis, Dr. Lee SmithBattle, who has been studying teen pregnancy for many years, and her colleagues, reviewed studies on teen fathering. Based on their analysis, teen fathering can be quite challenging. Many factors imperil young fathers' involvement with their children, however becoming a father engenders a new identity anchored by paternal responsibilities. Nurses can use these findings to further their understanding of teen fathering and offer their support.

Perinatal Practices & Traditions Among Asian Indian Women

Goyal, Deepika

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 41(2):90-97, March/April 2016.

Asian Indian women living in the United States have many cultural practices and traditions related to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. An overview is provided to help perinatal nurses give quality care to this unique and growing population.

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.

Postpartum Home Blood Pressure Monitoring Program: Improving Care for Hypertension During Postpartum after a Hospital Birth

Hayden-Robinson, Kamilah A.; Deeb, Jessica L.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 48(3):134-141, May/June 2023.

In this quality improvement project, patients with a diagnosis of a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy were given a home blood pressure monitor with detailed instructions for use when they were discharged from the hospital after giving birth. Patients monitored their blood pressure at home and reported results to their providers. Timely and appropriate treatment was able to be initiated without a return in-person visit for most patients. The program was well received by patients and providers. Home blood pressure monitoring for new mothers is a feasible method of insuring timely treatment for postpartum hypertension as needed without requiring a trip to the clinic or the hosptial.

Posttraumatic Growth After Birth Trauma: “I Was Broken, Now I Am Unbreakable”

Beck, Cheryl Tatano; Watson, Sue

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 41(5):264-271, September/October 2016.

This study was conducted by one of the leading experts in the field, Dr. Cheryl Beck, along with her colleague Sue Watson, and offers a unique view of how some mothers have reported positive growth after a traumatic birth experience. Findings can help nurses better understand mothers' experiences and inform future nursing research.

Challenges in Accessing Mental Health Care during Pregnancy and Postpartum in Rural Montana

Hanson, Marcy N.; Reese, Sarah; Newcomer, Sophia R.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 48(5):252-257, September/October 2023.

Accessing mental health care services for women in rural areas can be a challenge. In this study, pregnant and postpartum women in rural Montana who reported a history of substance use or mental health concerns describe their experiences in seeking and receiving mental health services.

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.

Data-Driven Nurse Staffing in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Feldman, Keith; Rohan, Annie J.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(5):249-264, September/October 2022.

The challenge of nurse staffing is amplified in the acute care neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) setting, where a wide range of highly variable factors affect staffing. A comprehensive overview of infant factors, nurse factors, and unit factors influencing preshift NICU staffing is presented, along with how intrashift variability of these and other factors must be accounted for to maintain effective and efficient assignments. Potential sources of data to predict and enhance nurse staffing in the NICU are discussed.

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.

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.

Missed Nursing Care in Pediatric and Neonatal Care Settings: An Integrative Review

Ogboenyiya, Anisa A.; Tubbs-Cooley, Heather L.; Miller, Elaine; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(5):254-264, September/October 2020.

There is very little research about missed nursing care in the neonatal and pediatric inpatient setting. In this integrated review, missed neonatal and pediatric nursing care was associated with workload, patient acuity, work environment, nurse characteristics, and prolonged hospitalization of preterm infants. Missed nursing care and related patient and nurse outcomes in diverse pediatric samples remain an area for future research.

Oral Intake During Labor: A Review of the Evidence

Sharts-Hopko, Nancy C.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 35(4):197-203, July-August 2010.

Dr. Sharts-Hopko has succinctly and expertly gathered the evidence for how we should approach oral intake in labor. Use this article for evidence-based practice in your setting.

Parental Participation in Preterm Infant Feeding in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Nist, Marliese Dion; Robinson, Audrey; Pickler, Rita H.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 48(2):76-81, March/April 2023.

In this secondary data analysis of 87 preterm infants using data from a randomized controlled trial of patterned tactile experience provided during gavage and oral feeding on infant neurobehavior and clinical outcomes, parental involvement in infant feeding in the neonatal intensive care unit was low. Parental participation in feeding can decrease the time required for infants to achieve feeding milestones, possibly leading to decreased length of hospitalization. Nurses should encourage parents to participate in caregiving for their preterm infants. Interventions are needed to remove barriers to parental participation in caregiving.

A Review of Community-Based Participatory Research in Child Health

Vaughn, Lisa M.; Wagner, Erin; Jacquez, Farrah

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 38(1):48-53, January/February 2013.

Of 34 community-based participatory research studies reviewed, the most common child health issue was obesity/diabetes.

Relational Care for Perinatal Substance Use: A Systematic Review

Kramlich, Debra; Kronk, Rebecca

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 40(5):320-326, September/October 2015.

This systematic review suggests comprehensive, integrated multidisciplinary services for pregnant women with substance use disorder are showing positive results. Pregnant women's engagement with comprehensive services facilitated by caring relationships with health care providers may improve perinatal outcomes.

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.

American Academy of Pediatrics' Updated Clinical Guidelines for Managing Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia

Beal, Judy A.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 48(1):49, January/February 2023.

The American Academy of Pediatrics published updated clinical guidelines on management of hyperbilirubinemia for infants born at 35 weeks or more of gestation. Our pediatric nurse expert, Dr. Beal, explains the changes in clinical guidelines and their scientific rationale based on new evidence.

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

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.

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.

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.

Postpartum Urinary Retention

Bernstein, Samantha L.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 48(4):224, July/August 2023.

Postpartum urinary retention is common after childbirth, however there is no consensus among researchers on incidence, treatment, and potential sequalae. Our maternity nursing expert, Dr. Bernstein, reviews existing literature and makes recommendations for nurses and nurse researchers.

Why Isn't Nurse Staffing Evaluated as Part of Hospital Accreditation and Quality Designations?

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 48(1):55, January/February 2023.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Joint Commission have announced two new designations for hospitals with maternity services. When the public sees that hospitals are designated as providing high quality maternity services, there is an assumption that there are enough nurses to care for the childbearing family from admission to discharge. It is well known that adequate nurse staffing in linked to less risk of inpatient morbidity and mortality, yet neither of these new designations include nurse staffing as part of the criteria.

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.

The Gastrointestinal Microbiome in Infant Colic: A Scoping Review

Johnson, Jessica M.; Adams, Ellise D.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(4):195-206, July/August 2022.

Colic is known to self-resolve around three months of age. However, few researchers have investigated how the microbiome may be changing at colic's natural resolution without the intervention of a probiotic. With a better understanding of what leads to colic's self-resolution, future researchers may be able to identify more effective therapies for colic prevention or treatment. This scoping review presents the collective evidence from 21 original, primary research articles on what is known about the gastrointestinal microbiome at colic onset and resolution.

The Smart Nutrition and Conditioning for Kids (SNACK) Program: An Approach to Increasing Nutrition Knowledge of Second-Grade Students

Jakubowski, Tami L.; Perron, Tracy; Farrell, Anne; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(5):278-284, September/October 2018.

Childhood obesity is a major problem that appears to be on the increase. In this study, researchers evaluated an innovative program integrated into physical education classes for second grade students that aimed to promote healthy eating choices. Findings suggest nutrition education for children as young as seven years old can be useful in teaching them to choose healthy food.

Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Nursing Workforce: One Pediatric Hospital's Strategic Approach

Hinson, Tyonne D.; Brostoff, Marcie; Grossman, Amanda Beit; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(5):265-272, September/October 2022.

Nurse and human resource leaders at Boston Children's Hospital, a tertiary care, 454-bed pediatric academic medical center, developed, implemented, and evaluated strategies to increase racial and ethnic diversity in recruitment and hiring of the nursing workforce. Significant increases in racial and ethnic diversity recruitment and hiring were achieved. These strategies can be helpful for nurses and other health care leaders to advance health equity through the creation of a racially and ethnically diverse nursing workforce.

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.

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.

Preventing Hypothermia during Cesarean Birth: An Integrative Review

Dendis, Michelle; Hooven, Katie

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(2):102-108, March/April 2020.

In this integrative review, warming measures to prevent maternal hypothermia during the perioperative period for women having cesarean birth were evaluated. Warming measures found to be beneficial are intravenous fluid warming, upper body force-air warming, ambient operating room temperature, and warming mattresses. National guidelines from the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses, the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses, and the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses are consistent with current evidence and should be in place and followed in every maternity unit caring for women having cesarean birth.

Promoting PHYSICAL ACTIVITY in Teen Girls: Insight From Focus Groups

Loman, Deborah G.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 33(5):294-299, September-October 2008.

Everyone is telling us that the obesity problem is an epidemic. How can nurses best help young teenage women to combat obesity? What messages will they want to hear?

Acuity-Based Staffing in Labor and Delivery Using Electronic Health Record Data

Jones, Lynn W.; Hall, Valerie L.

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(5):242-248, September/October 2022.

The electronic health record (EHR) has a vast source of patient data that can be used to retrospectively review patient needs and nurse staffing gaps that can serve as a basis for prospective planning for nurse staffing. In this quality improvement project, data from the EHR were used to evaluate real-time and prospective nurse staffing needs and to be consistent with the nurse staffing guidelines from the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses. Reports from the EHR provided quantitative data that supported a budgetary increase in nurse staffing and a more flexible nurse staffing scheduling system to meet the needs of the patients.

Interventions to Improve Maternal-Infant Relationships in Mothers With Postpartum Mood Disorders

Lindensmith, Rebekah

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 43(6):334-340, November/December 2018.

Postpartum depression can influence maternal-infant attachment, bonding, and interaction, which affect the maternal-infant relationship and lead to poor outcomes for infants later in life. A review of the evidence on interventions to improve maternal-infant relationships in mothers with postpartum mood disorders is presented.

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?

Trends in Labor Induction in the United States, 1989 to 2020

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(4):235, July/August 2022.

The rate of induction of labor in the United States has risen sharply over the last several years as compared to a slow steady increase since 1989 when these data first began to be collected on United States standard certificates of live birth. The rising rate of induction of labor in the United States has significant implications for nurse staffing for maternity units and for patient safety.

Mothers' Experiences Interacting with Infants after Traumatic Childbirth

Beck, Cheryl Tatano; Watson, Sue

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(6):338-344, November/December 2019.

During postpartum, prevalence of posttraumatic stress related to traumatic childbirth ranges from 4% in community samples to 18.5% in high-risk groups. Dr. Cheryl Beck, well known expert on childbirth trauma, and her colleague Sue Watson, present their study on mothers interacting with their babies after experiencing a traumatic childbirth. They offer suggestions for identifying traumatized new mothers in the inpatient setting and making referrals to mental health professionals.

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.


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?

Attitudes of Physicians, Midwives, and Nurses About Doulas: A Scoping Review

Lucas, Laura; Wright, Erin

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 44(1):33-39, January/February 2019.

Physicians, midwives, and labor nurses are not consistent in their willingness to work with doulas. In this review, research about attitudes of members of the maternity team towards doulas is presented, with suggestions for improved collaboration.

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.

Considerations for Active Labor Management with Oxytocin: More May Not be Better

Simpson, Kathleen Rice

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 45(4):248, July/August 2020.

Recent evidence suggests an oxytocin “rest” or discontinuing oxytocin once active labor has been established may be one way to minimize labor complications and decrease risk of cesarean birth for some women.

Health Care Professionals' Perceptions of Caring for Patients with Substance Use Disorders during Pregnancy

Merritt, Elizabeth L.; Burduli, Ekaterina; Purath, Janet; More

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing. 47(5):288-293, September/October 2022.

All childbearing women deserve comprehensive, empathic, and nonbiased care. Women who have substance use disorders may not always receive this type of care. In this project, education about substance use was not enough to change health care professionals' perceptions of childbearing women experiencing substance use.