Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Caring for a child with a congenital heart defect can be scary and challenging. To help make it easier:

  • Seek support. Ask for help from family members and friends. Talk with your child's cardiologist about support groups and other types of assistance that are available near you.
  • Record your baby's health history. Write down your child's diagnosis, medications, surgery and other procedures and the dates they were performed, the operative report from your child's surgeon, and any other important information about your child's care. This information will be useful for doctors who are unfamiliar with your baby. It will also help your child transition from pediatric to adult doctors.
  • Talk about your concerns. Many children will have no limitations. But talk with the cardiologist about activities that are safe for your child. If some are off-limits, encourage your child in other pursuits rather than focusing on what he or she can't do.

Although every circumstance is different, remember that many children with congenital heart defects grow up to lead healthy lives.

Aug. 14, 2015