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Mended Little HeartGuide

Diagnosis 3 In The Take breaks from the bedside of your baby to spend time with your other children and have siblings make visits to the hospital. Inquire about Child Life Services at your hospital and discuss ways to prepare siblings for their first visit. (For more tips, see the What About Siblings and Taking Care of Other Children While in the Hospital sections of this Mended Little HeartGuide.) Leave Benefits and Time Off Work Familiarize yourself with your leave benefits and make a plan for how to best use your maternity/paternity leave. Find out if your employer has a donated leave policy and, if so, inquire about how to access the donated leave bank to extend your time off. For prolonged hospitalizations, some parents find it helpful to return to work earlier than anticipated in order to preserve leave for when their child is discharged. It may be helpful to speak with your employer before your child is born to discuss options such as teleworking and returning to work part-time. (See the section on The Financial Impact of CHD in this Guide for more information.) Insurance/Health Coverage Contact your employer’s human resources department to find out how to add your baby to your insurance policy. Because it can be easy to overlook this in the days immediately following birth, make a plan to complete any paperwork ahead of time. (For more information, see the section on Navigating Insurance in this Mended Little HeartGuide.) Childbirth Preparation Classes Explore birth and childcare classes that are available in your community. Popular courses include birth preparation, basic childcare, infant CPR and infant massage. If you would feel uncomfortable in a traditional birth/child care class due to the medical needs of your baby, speak with your social worker or nurse about alternative options, including private sessions. Breastfeeding If you plan to breastfeed, research lactation consultants through your hospital. If your baby will be hospitalized for any length of time, look into buying or renting a quality breast pump and learn how to use it. (For more information, see the Nutrition section of this Guide.) Family Members Research options on how to keep your family members and friends up to date on your baby’s health. Some families choose Facebook, CaringBridge, Care Pages or other online options. Others designate a point person (usually not Mom or Dad!) to handle updates and questions. Making a plan ahead of time will make it easier for you to focus on your baby after delivery. Information and Binders It is never too early to start a medical binder to store information about your baby’s special heart. Use it to organize drawings, printed information and business cards of your baby’s care team. (Instructions on Creating a Binder are available in this Mended Little HeartGuide.) After Delivery The period immediately after birth can be physically and emotionally exhausting and you may feel pulled in many different directions. It is vital that you take care of yourself in order to provide the best care for your baby. Please refer to the Taking Care of Yourself section of this Mended Little HeartGuide for tips on how to do this. For helpful information about a hospital stay with your child, see Part 3 of this Mended Little HeartGuide. 1 General Information 2 Prenatal Hospital 4 Living With CHD 5 Forms 43


Mended Little HeartGuide
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