According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 33 babies will be born with some form of birth defect. These are relatively small numbers and most parents never dream it will happen to them. Hearing that your child has an illness or defect of some kind can be shocking and devastating.
The birth of your child is an emotional time. All you want to do is take them home, but suddenly you’re plunged into a world you know nothing about. It can be overwhelming.
- Find Out The Facts
Before you dive in and start Googling, find out all the facts from your medical team. Ask questions and undergo any additional tests they may suggest. Gather as much information as you can. Seek specialist help if required.
If you suspect a medical error, seek advice from a solicitor who deals with birth injury cases. Not all birth defects are as a result of malpractice, but some are. A solicitor will be able to obtain the answers that you and your family
need. If the medical team are at fault, any compensation may help with your child’s needs during their life.
Once you have been apprised of the facts, read as much about the condition as possible. Carry out your own research and ask questions. Never worry about asking too many questions. The more knowledge you have, the better you can care for your child.
- Allow Yourself To Cry
You never expected this and feel overwhelmed with emotion. You may feel angry, hurt, cheated, disappointed, and afraid. Allow yourself some time to feel and to cry. This release will help you emotionally and physically.
- Seek Support
In addition to finding the right medical support, you also need the help of family and friends. They can help you through this difficult time. Communicate with your partner and those closest to you. Share your thoughts, feelings, and fears.
- Educate Others
Make family and friends aware of the condition. You may need to explain this carefully to young siblings. Provide them with as much information as possible and allow them to ask questions. Try not to judge or feel hurt if some people are unable to deal with the situation. Everyone responds to news in a different way, and everyone has their own coping strategies. Talk to them and encourage them to communicate their feelings.
- Accept Help
Caring for a sick child can be physically and mentally demanding. If help is offered, then take it. If it isn’t offered, then consider asking trusted family members for assistance. No-one can do everything alone.
- Take Care Of Yourself And Your Partner
When you have a child with an illness or medical condition, most of your time will be spent with them. While you don’t begrudge it, this can take its toll. You and your partner need to look after yourselves as well as the baby. Your health is important too. Taking care of yourself will make you a better parent, and better able to meet the needs of your child.