Being told your baby has a problem with their heart is both frightening and emotional for parents and their families.
Here we hope to help you understand your baby’s heart problem and explain some of the choices you have been given. If at any time you would like to chat through the information you have been given, do not hesitate in giving the LHM team a ring on 0121 455 8982.
There are many different congenital heart defects (CHDs). A ‘congenital’ problem is one that a baby is born with. Some are minor defects such as small holes in the heart which may not need any treatment. Others, although more serious, can be corrected with an operation.
The third group are extremely serious conditions. Single ventricle heart conditions fall within this category. A series of surgical operations can be offered to allow a child a chance of life, but they will never be cured of their condition, and they will have to learn to live with different lifestyle restrictions and, as a result, have an uncertain future. Some conditions, for example, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), may have a more complex longer- term outcome than others.
The following information aims to help parents understand these extremely complex abnormalities of the heart and the implications they will have for their baby, and we explain the treatment pathways available to them.
It is important that you explore all the options available to you and your child and give each due consideration. Research the issue, find out what all the options are, talk to Little Hearts Matter, the doctors and nurses too. Give yourself time to come to a decision that you, as a parent, feel is the right one for your unborn child. After all, you will need to live with that decision whichever way you go. Remember, there is no right or wrong. Whatever the decision is, it is ‘ok’.