If your child was born with a congenital heart defect, you might have been surprised and saddened to get the news. However, many children with a heart problem go on to grow into adults with happy productive lives. To better cope with your child's heart defect, you'll want to use these tips, and any others that you receive from the childrens cardiologist.
Avoid the Blame Game
It may take you some time to grapple with the fact that your child has a problem with their heart. As a result, you may find yourself feeling guilty or blaming yourself for the situation. Often there is nothing that could have caused or prevented such a health condition,and many children are born with heart problems. When you blame yourself, you aren't fully able to focus on the reality of the situation and how best to attend to your child's health.
Learn How to Handle Problems
There are three principal problems that could arise as a result of the heart defect; loss of breath, cyanosis, and malnutrition. Your child's heart may have difficulty pumping, which can lower its ability to send and receive blood to and from their lungs. This may cause them to become out of breath much sooner than others do. Usually, this means that they just need to give themselves more recovery time and take more breaks, but if they are unable to catch their breath, you may need to keep a tank on hand so that they can use a nasal tube to receive additional oxygen.
If your child starts to turn blue, that is called cyanosis. When that happens, it is imperative that they stop whatever activity they are doing and draw their knees right up to their chest. They will need oxygen as well. Because of the breathing and weakness problems that a heart problem can cause, your child may not want to eat often. Not only that, but those with cardiac conditions sometimes use up calories quicker, as their bodies are working harder to support the heart. They may have increased nutritional needs. Therefore, ensure you're feeding your child smaller meals throughout the day instead of three main, large meals at a time.
It's easy to throw yourself into the care of your child. However, you need to be able to reach out for your own support. Being a caregiver isn't always easy, and being able to lean on support group peers, relatives, and friends can be essential.
With these suggestions, your child's congenital heart defect can be better handled. Discuss your child with their cardiologist so that you can get a detailed treatment plan that may make life easier for your child.