Taking care of a baby with a congenital heart defect is not an easy task for any patient. There are many things that you need to take care of and it is quite natural to feel overwhelmed at times. You need to monitor everything very carefully, from their diet to any sign or symptom that may seem alarming. Experts from the top pediatric cardiology hospital in Kolkata suggest that parents usually find it very difficult to process the news and need proper guidance to take care of their little ones. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind while taking care of a child with congenital heart disease.
Feeding the baby - Feeding an infant in itself is a big challenge, let alone feeding one with a congenital heart disease. One of the major reasons behind this is that such babies may get tired very easily and tend to fall short of breath. No, no, no, this does not mean that you need to stop breastfeeding your child. In fact, mother’s milk is the best thing you can feed your child as it not only fills their stomach but also enhances their immune system, making it fitter to fight infections, which can otherwise cause your heart problem to aggravate. What you need to do is feed your baby small amounts of milk with regular breaks, enough for them to catch their breath. This also means that you need to feed your baby a couple of times more as compared to a healthy child. Also, don't forget to burp your child after every feeding session. Moms usually tend to wait for a sign to feed their baby, the most common of which is crying. But, when you have a baby with a congenital heart defect, who is not feeding properly, waiting for him or her to cry is not what you should be doing. Rather you need to look out for other indications like sucking motions.
If you are finding it difficult to feed your child, you need to inform the top heart specialist in Kolkata or get in touch with a pediatric nutritionist. In extreme cases, you will be required to give your child baby formula, for those extra calories, which he/she will need to grow normally. This is because babies with congenital heart defects tend to have poor growth.
The best cardiologist in Kolkata suggests that there are many more things that are to be taken care of apart from the baby’s diet. You have to be very careful around the baby. Any kind of emotional or mental stress can have a negative impact on them. Since the baby’s immunity may be compromised, you have to do your best to negate the risks of infections by maintaining cleanliness. Taking extra precautions can prove to be really helpful. Being a parent, it is important to make sure that your little one does not miss any of the shots. People who are around the child, such as parents and close family members, also need to get shot. If you have any infection, stay away from the baby till you start feeling better.
While taking care of your child, don't forget to take care of yourself as you can only do it when you are mentally and physically strong. Don't let the whole situation take a toll on your health.
Stay in touch with your child’s doctor and take him/her for regular checkups. In case of any emergency, inform your doctor immediately.