There are many challenges parents face. Those challenges get even more daunting for parents of children with congenital heart disease (CHD). This is the most common type of birth defect, affecting nearly eight out of every 1,000 newborns. The first year is particularly harrowing, as those with critical defects have to endure surgery or other treatments to simply survive.
The challenges don’t end after the first year, however, and there can be a lot of worrying that goes along with seeing your child in this condition. There are resources out there, and here are some tops to help navigate the difficulties of having a child with CHD.
Become An Expert
Finding out as much as you can about your child’s condition can go a long way in not only helping care for your child, but also in giving you some peace of mind. Gathering as much information as you can in regards to the diagnosis, treatment, and medication required will offer insight into everything that is known regarding CHD. By getting the whole family on board, you can all be invested in optimal health.
This will also make it easier to implement the lifestyle changes that come along with having a child with CHD. These infants generally have weaker immune systems, meaning that they are more susceptible to catching illnesses, and it often take them longer to recover. Having all of the knowledge at your disposal will enable you to take the necessary precautions to maintain your child’s health.
Build a Support System
Reaching out and connecting with other parents of children with CHD can be a tremendous help. Other parents that have been through similar struggles can provide great insight on how to cope with the struggles of raising a child with a heart defect. They can also provide emotional support through the rough times, as they can be a great sounding board because of your shared situation.
All parents are going through a transitionary time when they’re raising a newborn. However, parents that have a child with a heart defect face a completely different set of challenges, along with all of the common ones. By establishing contact and building a network in the community with parents facing similar struggles, it can go a long way in boosting confidence and gaining peace of mind.
Don’t Forget About Yourself
It’s easy to pour everything into your child with a heart defect, but the caregiver needs to realize their importance, too. There will be countless important decisions to be made regarding your child’s care, so taking care of yourself to make sure you stay in top form to make those decisions is crucial. This means giving yourself a break sometimes, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Acknowledging that this is a stressful and trying situation is a great way to get the support you need during this stressful period.
Living with a child with CHD can be intimidating, and certainly scary. Preparing yourself will enable you to make better decisions, and have better feelings toward the situation. Simply having the right information can be a great first step. For more information about CHD and how to raise a child with this condition, contact the experts at Conquering CHD.