Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
If your baby's born with tricuspid atresia, it may seem that almost all your time is spent at the hospital or at a doctor's office. But there will be time spent at home, as well. Here are some tips for caring for your child at home.
- Strive for good nutrition. Your baby may have a difficult time taking in enough calories, both because he or she tires more easily during feeding and because of an increased demand for calories. It's often helpful to give your baby frequent, small feedings. Breast milk is an excellent source of nutrition, but formula works well, too. You may find that a combination of both provides a good balance of nutrition and scheduling flexibility. Ask your doctor or hospital about available resources for pumping breast milk. Some hospitals rent breast pumps. Your child's cardiologist may also recommend nutritional supplements or visiting a dietitian for the details.
- Preventive antibiotics. Your child's cardiologist will likely recommend that your child take preventive antibiotics before certain dental and other procedures to prevent bacteria from entering the bloodstream and infecting the inner lining of the heart (infective endocarditis) for at least five months after any surgical procedures. Practicing good oral hygiene — brushing and flossing teeth, getting regular dental checkups — is another good way of preventing infection.
- Help your child stay active. Encourage as much normal play and activity as your child is able to tolerate, or as your doctor recommends, with ample opportunity for rest and nap time. Staying active helps your child's heart stay fit. As your child grows, talk with the cardiologist about which activities are best for your child. If some are off-limits, such as competitive sports, encourage your child in other pursuits rather than focusing on what he or she can't do.
- Keep up with routine well-child care. Standard immunizations are encouraged for children with congenital heart defects, as well as vaccines against the flu, pneumonia and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections.
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- Infective endocarditis. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/TheImpactofCongenitalHeartDefects/Infective-Endocarditis_UCM_307108_Article.jsp. Accessed Sept. 9, 2012.