The Real-World Impact of the AWHONN Convention

by, Michelle Amstutz, RN
Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor MI

I would like to share what an impact attending nationals has been for me over the last few years.

A few years ago I went to hear Michelle Collins present on Nitrous. She talked about bringing nitrous to Vanderbilt University Hospital. I was so inspired by her talk that I reached out to her to find out how I could do the same thing. Continue reading

See You In Grapevine!

Victoriaby, Bree Fallon, BSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM

When I was told my administration would be sending three of us to the AWHONN Convention, my heart skipped a beat. Actually, I squealed like a child and jumped up and down. It was a dream come true! I couldn’t help but compare Convention to a labor and delivery nurse’s Disneyland. It’s funny to me now remembering that day, as I would have had no way of possibly knowing what a tremendous impact the trip to Convention would have, both on my own nursing career as well as my unit. Continue reading

What Children with FASD Want You to Know

by, Marilyn Pierce-Bulger, ANP

Jason is a 13 year old boy who knows he is different but he does not understand why.  He blames himself for the difficulty he has had in school and with social relationships over the years. He thinks he is not trying hard enough or is not smart enough.  His teachers and parents view him as willful, rather, than ‘unable’ due to his hidden disability. Continue reading

Standardizing Postpartum Oxytocin Administration

by, Jennifer Doyle, MSN, WHNP-BC
Director, AWHONN Executive Board
APN, Women’s Service Line
Summa Health
Akron City Hospital
Akron, OH

Photo: Jennifer Doyle assessing and caring for fellow colleague Amy Burkett, MD, FACOG.

Somewhere in a Labor and Delivery unit, a woman gives birth.  A family is born. A nurse remains at the bedside.  A sentinel, who assesses, plans, and intervenes.  The nurse is equipped with knowledge and skills to holistically care for mom and baby.  The nurse’s primary focus is to promote bonding and breastfeeding. However, despite a safe birth, risk remains.  Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality.  It is often preventable.

As a labor and delivery staff nurse, there were countless occasions when I held vigil at the side of my patients after they gave birth.  I was prepared with an array of resources to treat PPH. In part, this included uterine massage, oxytocin, methylergometrine, carboprost, and misoprostol.   As a nurse caring for a woman in the immediate postpartum period, my goal was to assess maternal bleeding and avoid PPH, or treat early if it occurred.  I would often stand at the bedside, pondering how much oxytocin I should administer to this new mother, and for how long. Continue reading

Top 10 Posts of 2015

When we launched AWHONN Connections in May of this year, we could not have imagined the response that we would have received from our members, nurses, parents and members of the media.

In less than a year our blog has received over 232,000 visits, from 167 countries and had 4 blogs republished on the Huffington Post! As the year comes to a close we want to say a HUGE Thank You to our readers and our bloggers.

Here’s Our 2015 Top Ten Round Up! Continue reading

5 Q&A about Inducing Labor from our CEO

We asked moms what questions they had about inducing labor and Lynn Erdman our CEO answered back.

  1. My girlfriends told me that having labor induced is the safest, and certainly most convenient, way to have my baby, but my nurse is saying that waiting for labor to start on its own is the safest. Which is true?

Many people don’t realize that undergoing labor induction for any reason is associated with immediate and long-term health risks. Induced labor can lead to excessive postpartum bleeding (or hemorrhage), which in turn, can increase the risk for blood transfusion, longer hospital stays, hysterectomy, more hospital re-admissions and, in the worst cases, death. Induction is also associated with an increased risk for cesarean birth. Cesareans increase a woman’s  risk for infection, problems with how the placenta implants in future pregnancies, and life-long pain from abdominal adhesions.

AWHONN recommends against inducing labor at any time during pregnancy unless it is medically necessary, because a woman or her baby have problems. The medication used to induce labor is a manufactured hormone and a type of drug that bears an increased risk for causing serious patient harm when used in error. With the increasing use of labor induction and its resulting complications, it’s more apparent than ever that we must improve our understanding of the health consequences of administering artificial hormones, especially to vulnerable populations like pregnant women and infants. The short- and long-term health risks are just too serious to undergo labor induction when there is not  a medical need. Continue reading