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Mended Little HeartGuide

Table of Introduction Contents SECTION Get Involved with Your Child Be hands-on with your baby or child and his or her care as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask nurses to teach you to take care of your child. It can be difficult to bond with a new baby who has just had heart surgery or is sick, but being hands-on in his or her care can help. Here are a few ways to do this: • If you’d like to breastfeed your child, ask if the hospital has a lactation consultant. Also, find out what the arrangements the hospital can make to store breast milk. If your baby is bottle fed, ask if you can feed your baby. • Get involved in your newborn’s care. Ask to help change your baby’s diapers and to bathe and dress him or her. The more comfortable you get with caring for your child in the hospital, the more in control and confident you will feel when you get home. • Ask to hold your baby. Many parents and caregivers are afraid to ask to hold their baby, but it’s important that you do so when you can. Nurses can often come up with creative ways for you to hold your baby, even with tubes and wires attached. • Bring clothes for your baby or child and dress him or her once it’s okay to do so, but be sure it is clothing you don’t mind getting stains on. Try to avoid clothing with zippers or Velcro. Clothes with snaps or buttons are better because wires and tubes can go through the holes. About My Child’s Heart Tips for Improving Life in the Hospital • Ask one of the nurses or doctors treating your child to take you on a tour of the unit where your child is staying. Go To 54


Mended Little HeartGuide
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