If your baby is born with tricuspid atresia, it may seem that almost all your time is spent at the hospital or at a doctor's office. But there will be time spent at home, as well. Here are some tips for caring for your child at home.
Strive for good nutrition. Your baby may have a difficult time taking in enough calories, both because he or she tires more easily during feeding and because of an increased demand for calories. It's often helpful to give your baby frequent, small feedings.
Breast milk is an excellent source of nutrition, but formula works well, too. You may find that a combination of both provides a good balance of nutrition and scheduling flexibility. Ask your doctor or hospital about available resources for pumping breast milk. Some hospitals rent breast pumps. Your child's cardiologist may also recommend nutritional supplements or visiting a dietitian for the details.
Preventive antibiotics. Your child's cardiologist will likely recommend that your child take preventive antibiotics before certain dental and other procedures to prevent bacteria from entering the bloodstream and infecting the inner lining of the heart (infective endocarditis).
Practicing good oral hygiene — brushing and flossing teeth, getting regular dental checkups — is another good way of preventing infection.
- Help your child stay active. Encourage as much normal play and activity as your child is able to tolerate, or as your doctor recommends, with ample opportunity for rest and nap time. Staying active helps your child's heart stay fit.
As your child grows, talk with the cardiologist about which activities are best for your child. If some are off-limits, such as competitive sports, encourage your child in other pursuits rather than focusing on what he or she can't do.
- Keep up with routine well-child care. Standard immunizations are encouraged for children with congenital heart defects, as well as vaccines against the flu, pneumonia and respiratory syncytial virus infections.
- Keep regular follow-up appointments with your child's doctor. Your child may need regular annual appointments with his or her doctor trained in congenital heart conditions to evaluate his or her condition. Your child's doctor may recommend several tests to evaluate your child's heart condition.
Adults with tricuspid atresia
If you're an adult with tricuspid atresia, keep regular follow-up appointments with your doctor trained in congenital heart conditions. Your doctor may recommend several tests to evaluate your condition at follow-up appointments.
Your doctor may recommend that you take preventive antibiotics before certain dental or medical procedures to prevent infective endocarditis.
Ask your doctor about what activities are best for you, and if there are any sports or activities that you may need to limit or avoid.
If you're a woman with tricuspid atresia and you're considering becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor regarding the risks of pregnancy. If you're pregnant and you have tricuspid atresia or another congenital heart condition, your doctor will likely recommend that you receive care from a doctor trained in treating women with congenital heart defects who are pregnant.
Aug. 15, 2015
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