Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Caring for a baby with a serious heart problem, such as tricuspid atresia, can be challenging and stressful. Here are some strategies that may help make it easier:

  • Try to maintain normalcy and closeness. Although you may feel uncertain at times about how to best promote your child's health, maintaining stability and a regular daily routine will help both you and your child relax and feel more secure in spite of circumstances. Even if your baby is in the hospital, try to spend as much time together as you can. If you have other children, include them as much as possible. Bonding together as a family is important for your baby's social and emotional development.
  • 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. The American Heart Association offers a support group called Mended Little Hearts.
  • Record your baby's health history. You may want to write down your baby's diagnosis, medications, surgery and other procedures and the dates they were performed, the name and phone number of your child's cardiologist, and any other important information about your baby's care. It's also helpful to include copies of the operative reports from your child's surgeons in your records. This information will help you recall the care your child has received, and it will be useful for doctors who are unfamiliar with your baby to review his or her health history.
  • Talk about your concerns. As your child grows and develops, you may worry about different aspects of your child's care. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your child's cardiologist.

Although every circumstance is different, remember that many children with congenital heart defects, such as tricuspid atresia, grow up to lead enjoyable lives.

Aug. 15, 2015