The National Perinatal Association contributes a monthly column to Neonatology Today

Read Articles by the NPA in Neonatology Today

Find out how National Perinatal Association members are leading the way in interdisciplinary care and collaboration. 

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): SelfEfficacy of Caregiving and the Lived Experience of Parents Post-NICU Discharge by Jenene Woods Craig, Ph.D., MBA, OTR/L, CNT

“ At the end of what is sometimes a long stay in the NICU, parents mustassume responsibility for caregiving tasks thatwere, up until that time, handled by NICU staff.”

Insights and Suggestions to Support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Parents in the NICU by Vincent C. Smith, MD, MPH and Jonathan S. Litt, MD MPH ScD

  • The makeup of American families is changing with more LGBTQ individuals becoming parents.
  • LBGTQ parents expressed gratitude for thoughtful, sensitive care. When kindness, caring, and good intent are obvious, many LGBTQ parents can overlook incidental faux pas.
  • Avoid making assumptions about LGBTQ parents based on physical appearance and/or manner.
  • There are ever increasing opportunities to improve how we care for all types of families in our NICUs. Each family provides an opportunity to refine the care we provide.

BLACK + PREGNANT = DEATH? Racial disparities in perinatal morbidity and mortality in the United States by C Cody Miller, MS-4 and Ealing Tuan, MS-3

“ Even when accounting for known differences in educational attainment, black women still fare worse; a black woman with a college degree or higher is still more than twice as likely to suffer severe maternal morbidity than a white woman who never graduated high school.”

NICU Transition Planning with Military Families by Vincent C. Smith, MD, MPH and Julia Yeary, ACSW, LCSW, IMH-E

“There are special support programs designed to help with the unique needs of military families. Clinicians should be aware of how to direct military families to access this information.”

Special Issue on Topics from NPA's 2018 Conference

Maternal Mortality in the US is Due to Inefficiency in the Healthcare System by Viveka Zawisza, MD FACOG

"We must…provide efficient continuity of care for pregnant women and consistent, evidence-based practices in uniform, enforceable ways if we are ever going to be serious about reducing our unacceptably high maternal mortality rates.”

The National Perinatal Association at The 31st Annual Gravens Conference on the Environment of Care for High Risk Newborns by Cheryl A. Milford, EdS

“...Mike Hynan, PhD, Sue Hall, MD and Raylene Phillips, MD, presented the opening plenary session by describing a Neonatal Intensive Parenting Unit (NIPU), which was based on a concept they published in the Journal of Perinatology in 2017. Developing ways to transform NICUs into NIPUs is an ongoing project of NPA, which includes a focus (in theory and practice) on the parent as the primary caregiver in the NICU and on the role of NICU staff in supporting parents in parenting their NICU baby.”

Can People Heal as They Grieve?  by Andrea Werner Insoft, LICSW, ACSWD

"When a baby dies, how can we help families – and each other – heal as we grieve?... To provide grieving parents with a tool to guide their recovery, I use an acronym: LEVER, which stands for Language, Express, Validate, Educate, Rituals. A lever is a device that allows one to lift something that one could not lift on their own... Making meaning out of an event that was so unexpected or arbitrary is at the heart of healing. Love and grief go hand in hand. The goal is not to let go, but to integrate this experience into who we are, to create a new identity that allows joy to co-exist with sadness."

NICU Staff Education in Providing Psychosocial Support for Parents of Babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit  by Sue Hall, MD

“For several decades we have been aware of the critical role families play in supporting the physiological and emotional wellbeing of their babies in the NICU. The Family-Centered Care model has been accepted by hospitals and healthcare organizations as a proven way to improve care for patients of all ages and has been adapted to the NICU as the Family-Centered Developmental Care model and, more recently, the Family Integrated Care model.”

National Perinatal Association 2018 Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Prevention Clinical Practice Guideline: An Evidence-Based Interdisciplinary Collaboration by Mitchell Goldstein, MD; Raylene Phillips, MD; John P. DeVincenzo, MD; Leonard R. Krilov, MD; T. Allen Merritt, MD; Ram Yogev, MD; Suzanne Staebler, DNP, APRN, NNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN; Munaf Kadri, MD; Jaimie E. Fergie, MD; Michael S. Schechter, MD, MPH; Millicent Gorham, PhD, MBA, FAAN; James D. Cherry, MD, MSc

“Over the course of the last several years, the proportion of infants eligible for RSV prophylaxis who have actually received palivizumab has decreased as providers and insurers have increasingly followed guidelines that are not in compliance with the Food and Drug Administration indication resulting in needless morbidity and increased hospitalization.”

Psychosocial Support for Perinatal Substance Use: Mothers and Their Newborns by Cheryl A. Milford, EdS 

“The use of prescription pain relievers has increased significantly in the last 15 years, with 4.3 million people in the United States using opioid medications in 2014. While there will always be a place for the appropriate use of prescription pain relievers, the use of opioid medications as a substance of abuse has become a major public health concern.”

Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a Really Serious Virus for Many At-Risk Babies by Mitchell R. Goldstein, MD; Vincent C. Smith, MD; Raylene Phillips, MD

"October is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Awareness Month, which gives us an opportunity to examine concerns that arise each year during RSV season."

Supporting Families on Their Journey Home: A Comprehensive Approach to NICU Discharge/Transition Planning  by Vincent C. Smith, MD; Trudi N. Murch, PhD, CCC-SLP2

"The days, weeks, and months immediately following a baby’s discharge from the NICU constitute a critical period in the life of the family. While trying to balance multifaceted emotions, the family must also deal with their job-related demands, financial responsibilities, the needs of other family members, and numerous other stressors including mental health issues. Families need help and support."

Who Takes Care of Us?: Understanding and Managing Secondary Traumatic Stress in the NICU  by Stephen Lassen, PhD

"Working in a NICU brings all those involved into regular contact with trauma...It is important health professionals normalize this aspect of their work in NICUs and act together to create a supportive environment where staff well-being is valued and seen as a critical aspect of the care they provide to infants and their families.”

The Development of New Pharmacological Therapies for Infants - The National Perinatal Association’s Position of Support for Senate Bill S.2041 - Promoting Life-Saving New Therapies for Neonates Act of 2016 by Sue Hall, MD; Raylene Phillips, MD; Vincent C. Smith, MD; Cris Glick, MD; Mitchell Goldstein, MD; T. Allen Merritt, MD

“Despite a recognition by Congress that children’s interests are not being met with pediatric pharmaceutical development, very little progress has been made to meet this need. As a result, efforts to offer even more incentives to pharmaceutical companies such as those described in Bill S.2041 are being made.”

Supporting NICU Staff Mental Health by Cheryl A. Milford, EdS

“Supporting the mental health of the NICU staff is as important as scaffolding the mental health needs of parents. Utilizing the family-centered care principles and the tenets of trauma-informed care in maintaining professional attitudes, choices and behaviors is vital to the practices and culture of the NICU.”

Perinatal Loss and Bereavement: A Transcultural View (part 2) by Marylouise Martin, MSN, RNC-NIC 

“Children are not supposed to die. The pregnancy, newborn and childhood periods are expected only to be happy times. Children are expected to fulfill both the personal and social needs of their parents. The death of a child is a powerful loss.”

Comprehensive Family Support in NICUs by Sue Hall, MD

"Comprehensive family support goes beyond just 'allowing' parents to 'visit' their baby and keeping them informed of the baby’s medical status... it requires that neonatologists collaborate with an interdisciplinary team towards a common goal of providing this support..."

Advocating for More Effective Healthcare for Drug-Using Women and Their Babies by Bernadette Hoppe, MA, JD, MPH

“All of the aspects of appropriate developmental care, which are needed for all babies, are even more necessary with fragile babies, including those exposed to opiates during pregnancy. As neonatologists, you have an important role to advocate for the highest level of evidence-based treatment for fragile babies.”

NICU Discharge Readiness and Preparation (Part 1) (Part 2) by Vincent C. Smith, MD, MPH 

"The goal of discharge readiness is to equip primary caregivers to be competent and confident in caring for their baby at home in order to ensure a safe transition from the NICU to home for the baby and family."

The National Perinatal Association Facilitates Collaboration to Improve Perinatal Care by Raylene M. Phillips, MD

“A more recent project facilitated by the NPA integrates the expertise and experience of physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, case managers, therapists and parents in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to develop interdisciplinary recommendations for program standards to provide psychosocial support for NICU parents, a support system that is entirely missing in most NICUs and highly variable in others.”


Kristy Love, Executive Director

P.O. Box 392 Lonedell, MO 63060

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