You may have more peace of mind when you can recognize signs of heart problems and know when to seek help from your doctor.
Signs of congenital heart defects include:
Blue skin. Your baby could have a bluish tint to his skin, which doctors call cyanosis, especially around his mouth and fingers. It happens when his heart can’t pump enough blood through his lungs to get oxygen to the rest of his body.
Look for signs of cyanosis when he is crying or feeding. And call your doctor immediately if they appear.
This is true for older children, as well, who tire easily during routine play. Check with your child’s pediatrician if you notice any of these symptoms.
When It’s Heart Failure
Different types of congenital defects can put extra strain on your baby’s heart and can lead to heart failure.
That’s when his heart is too weak to pump blood effectively throughout his body.
Signs of heart failure include:
If you notice any of these symptoms, call a doctor immediately. Heart failure is very serious, but it can often be treated.
Understanding Heart Murmurs
Your doctor may have identified a heart murmur when he listened to your baby’s heartbeat. Some heart defects can cause murmurs, which are basically just extra noise during a heartbeat.
But not all murmurs are symptoms of a heart defect. In fact, they’re common in healthy children, too. But if your baby’s doctor notices one, he may refer you to a pediatric cardiologist, or children’s heart doctor.
You’re naturally going to be concerned about your child’s congenital heart defect. But try to be aware and informed, rather than too worried.
Keep in mind that a surgeon can often repair these problems so your child lives a normal life, with more doctor visits to make sure all is well. Once you know what to look for, you can make sure your child gets the care he needs.