Parents may not share the exact same perspective on raising a child, but they do share one thing in common: all parents want their children to grow up happy and healthy. Sadly, the reality is not all babies are born perfectly healthy.
Before a baby is born things are already in motion. Both congenital disorders and hereditary disorders can develop that affect the baby’s health, sometimes in profound ways. Regardless of whether a baby has severe mental or physical disability or a more common health disorder like asthma or allergies that may result in regular hives outbreaks (what do hives look like? Large, swollen welts that develop across the body) or more serious reactions that can cause life-threatening anaphylaxis, every day, parents are faced with the challenge of raising a baby with a health disorder.
Raising a baby with a health disorder is just about the hardest thing a parent will ever to, but with the right resources and preparation you can help your child live a happy life.
Learn as Much as Possible About Your Baby’s Condition
After any diagnosis, the first step is learning as much as you can about the disease. Start your research by learning about:
- Side effects
- Signs that the disease is progressing
- Treatment options
- Complementary therapy
- Medical professionals that treat the disease
- Hospitals that specialize in the disorder
Medical disorders can be scary, but education is empowering. You may not be able to administer the treatments, but by understanding the disease you’re making sure your child gets the best care possible.
Explore Pediatric In-Home Care Options
Caring for a child with a medical condition or disorder takes a lot of time and energy. Most parents would prefer to take on this responsibility themselves, but they may not have the expertise to do so. Many parents also have to work full-time to support their family and maintain health insurance that their children need.
There are now specialized health care providers like Aveanna that focus on pediatric in-home services. In-home care allows your child to be in a safe environment where supplies are on-hand and supervision is adequate for their needs. Caring for children is different than caring for teens, adults, and seniors. No matter what service you use it’s important to find a skilled medical professional that has experience caring for babies and young kids.
Keep on Top of Your Health Insurance
When you or your child have a medical condition health insurance becomes vital. It’s no longer something you have just in case. It’s a lifeline that protects your finances and ensures your child gets the health care they need.
Unfortunately, this means reviewing your health insurance and medical bills will become part of your regular routine. Start by finding out how much assistance you’ll get with in-home pediatric care and treatments. If you have questions talk with an insurance agent directly. It also helps to request that an agent be assigned to your plan so you have a point of contact who’s familiar with your situation and that you can talk to regularly.
Keep in mind medical billing errors happen all the time. Always ask for a copy of the bills and an explanation of the coverage if something costs more than expected.
Talk With Your Other Kids
If you have older children it’s important to discuss the situation with them. Some children immediately bond with their baby brother or sister and will understand right away that things aren’t “normal”. They probably have a lot of questions and concerns. They may also feel neglected at times and not understand why their baby sibling is getting the bulk of your attention.
Talking to older siblings early on prepares them for what’s to come. When kids are kept in the loop they are better able to adapt to the situation and are more sympathetic to the needs of both their sibling and their parents. Some older siblings also want to help out, which will make them feel like they’re part of the process.
Keep Advocating for the Best Health Care
With any medical condition, it’s extremely important to be your own biggest advocate. This is an ongoing process, especially if your baby is treated by new specialists or the treatment options change over time.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get second opinions. Responsible doctors respect that another medical professional may have a different perspective or approach.
Be a part of the decision-making process. Stay informed so you know what is happening at all times and why. At the end of the day, you’re the person in charge of your baby’s medical treatment.