Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When Newborns Have Heart Surgery, Parents Are The Unsung Heroes

Date:
November 26, 2008
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
It's a parent's worst nightmare, a newborn baby going under the knife to repair a heart defect. If the baby survives, that's when the real work begins for parents.

It's a parents worst nightmare, a newborn baby going under the knife to repair a heart defect. If the baby survives, that's when the real work begins for parents. University of Alberta nursing professor Gwen Rempel has seen hundreds of babies on the brink as a former pediatric cardiology nurse; she wanted to find out just what parents go through.

"I'm not 100 per cent convinced that health-care professionals get what these parents are doing," said Rempel. "I think [pediatric cardiology nurses] really pleased to offer what we offer and we're proud of ourselves that these kids are now surviving."

Rempel interviewed parents from across Western Canada, talking to both mothers and fathers about their day-to-day life with a child growing up with a congenital heart defect.

"These parents are extraordinary in what they're doing. Not just what they're doing for their child, but what they're doing to take care of themselves," said Rempel.

In these families, it's all about teamwork. Common public perception is that mothers do most of the work with newborns, but in these families fathers know just as much about their baby. The study found that some of the things both the mothers and the fathers were doing included calculating how much formula the baby needed, feeding the baby and monitoring both the baby's weight and oxygen levels.

"I was very struck by how these couples work together," said Rempel. "I'm continually struck by that. It's stressful because one parent might be in the hospital all the time, and one's at home trying to keep things spinning," she said. "They really do have to make an effort to keep on the same page."

The study also found that the parents in the study have a great support network. "These parents were never alone and it's family that's with them. It's amazing the amount of time grandparents will spend at hospitals, as well as aunts and uncles."

That's exactly what these parents need, says Rempel. For these kids to survive, the parents need to look after themselves.

"The parents are the ones safeguarding the child's survival. So if the parents are doing okay, there's a better chance the child's going to be okay."

But the parents' ability to succeed starts with asking for help. Rempel says a lot of these parents are just happy their child survived and don't want to ask for anything more. She suggests that health-care professionals need to be stepping up for these families.

"Can we teach them to ask for help? They're already doing what they do really well," she said. "We need to be more pro-active so that they can do even better."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "When Newborns Have Heart Surgery, Parents Are The Unsung Heroes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081126163720.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2008, November 26). When Newborns Have Heart Surgery, Parents Are The Unsung Heroes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081126163720.htm
University of Alberta. "When Newborns Have Heart Surgery, Parents Are The Unsung Heroes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081126163720.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins