If your baby is disabled in some way, you will be coping with a muddle of different feelings – love mixed with fear, pity mixed with anger. You will also need to cope with the feelings of others – your partner, relations and friends – as they come to terms with the fact that your baby is different. More than anything else at this time you will need to have a person or people to whom you can talk about how you feel and information about your baby’s immediate and future prospects.
There are a number of people to whom you can turn for help – your own GP, a paediatrician at your hospital, or your health visitor.
Once you are at home you can contact your social services department for information about local voluntary or statutory organisations. Many are self-help groups run by parents. Talking to other parents with similar experiences can often be the most effective help.
Worries and explanations
Always ask about the treatment your baby is being given and why, if it’s not explained to you. It is important that you understand what is happening so that you can work together with hospital staff to ensure that your baby receives the best possible care. It is natural to feel anxious if your baby is having special care. Talk over any fears or worries with the staff caring for your baby.
The consultant paediatrician will probably arrange to see you, but you can also ask for an appointment if you wish. The hospital social worker may be able to help with practical problems.
Information provided by Health Promotion England.