Top 5 Ways to Help Moms with a CHD Baby
There’s a dramatic pause right before the doctor breaks the news that your child’s heart is defective. Maybe he’s double checking or maybe he’s reluctant to crash your world.
Congenital heart defects are too common. What if that mom is someone you know? your sister? your cousin? your neighbor? your best friend? Instead of the silent awkward wish, reach out with these practical tips:
- Drop off a physical reminder of your support–Flowers, brownies, a thoughtful card. It lasts longer than kind words and doesn’t invade her personal grieving space.
- Offer to babysit. Again and again. Stop by when you take your kids to the park to ask if you can borrow her kids for a few hours. Also, tell her you’re available to watch her kids so she can spend more time at the hospital. This helps with the guilt of spending time with one child over another.
- Bring her family dinner. Ready-made food is a must! Shock, stress, and lack of appetite leads to missed meals. That leads to depression, unhealthy weight-loss, and a weakened immune system. Don’t make her track you down to return the dishes. Use disposable containers OR transfer the food to her dishes on the spot OR tell her you’ll pick up the dishes on Friday.
- “We’ll pray for you.” Simple. Comforting. Touching. Regardless of religious affiliation, she’ll hear you pledging, “I believe in God. I empathize with your pain. I will ask God to bless you and your family.” (If you’re not religious, sending good thoughts/vibes/karma your way is an appropriate alternative.)
- Send her a link to this website. Her friends and family will want to know details and updates. That support is vital, but rehashing the experience is depressing and painful. Heart Baby Home provides heart images and text descriptions of congenital heart defects that she can cut and paste onto her blog/carepages/facebook so she can tweak the info instead of writing it all from scratch–a daunting task. If we don’t have her child’s specific heart defect, email/comment and we’ll make it!
It’s a challenging journey with jarring bumps and beautiful silver linings. I’m grateful to those who helped me when I needed it, and now I need to give something back. Together we are stronger.
What else can we do to help? Leave me some comment love and tell me what I left off the list