How to Help Families Coping with CHD

Before our daughter was born she was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect that is caused by a combination of four heart defects that are present at birth. Before our daughter was born, we understood that she would spend time in the hospital for tests and surgeries. After our daughter was born, we discovered that she would be spending more time than we expected in the hospital along with constant back to back doctor appointments. Being a parent of a child with a congenital heart defect can be stressful so I have created some tips on how to help families coping with CHD.

  • How to Help Families Coping with CHDDinner- One great way to alleviate stress for a family that is coping with a child that has CHD is to surprise them with a home cooked meal, gift them a gift card to a restaurant or a place that delivers, or tell them that dinner is on you tonight and order them a pizza.
  • Date Night- Offer to give the parents a night out. The stress of a sick child can cause friction between couples, so time alone is a must and sometimes babysitters are not an option since they are expensive.
  • House Cleaner- It is hard to keep up with the cleanliness of your home while you have a sick child, so you could offer help them straighten up their home or gift them a gift card for a house cleaner.
  • Sibling Attention- Often times when a family has a sick child, without the parents meaning to, the siblings tend to get less attention. One way that you can help is by taking the siblings to the movies, to eat pizza, or anywhere they choose.
  • Maintenance- This can include anything such as mowing their lawn, washing their car or gifting them a car wash certificate, or anything that you think they need help with around the house.
  • Conversation- Sometimes all a mom or dad needs is to talk. The best thing you can do for a parent that is coping with CHD is to talk to them.

Having a child that is born with a congenital heart defect is not easy. Depending on where you are at in the repair process of your child’s heart will often times determine how your days are filled. I hope that this list on how to help families coping with CHD helps.


  1. A surprise is always wonderful. These are truly wonderful ideas to do!

  2. These are all great ideas for helping out. I’m sorry to hear that your daughter was born this way, but it sounds like she’s well on her way to recovery.

  3. Before our son was born we found out that he might have a heart defect, while he has a small hole, we were told it’s nothing to worry about. Sorry to hear about your daughter but those are great tips.

  4. I have never heard of CHD before. I am sorry this has happened to your daughter. What great suggestions you are offering.

  5. You’re so kind to share your experience with others. I hope your daughter’s heart has been able to heal.

  6. These are all really great tips. I really like the idea of a date night. I imagine just a little break even if just an hour or two would help.

  7. That’s gotta be a tough thing to deal with. I had a hard time when my kids got a cold, much less a life threatening illness. Great tips for coping

  8. This is such a thoughtful list! I love that the ideas are practical and very genuinely helpful too.

  9. These are some really amazing tips, it must be so hard having your child with a heart defect; the house cleaning one sounds like a great idea!

  10. All of these suggestions are great. I particularly love the house cleaning one because it is one less thing they have to worry about.

  11. This is a great list for helping out any family coping with a serious illness. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Dinner or housecleaning are such welcome gifts when someone has an ill loved one. What a perfect way to support families with a child that has CHD.

  13. I am using your ideas for every situation. It is so important to support.

  14. Wow those are great ideas. A date night is always welcome for parents, even if kids are not suffering.

  15. These are great ideas for anyone…. I know when my Sister In Law broke her ankle, I went and sat with her so her Husband could get out for awhile.

  16. These are great ideas. Especially the dinner help. I know any parent would appreciate that

  17. Wow, I can’t even imagine. Thank you for this post!

  18. What some lovely ideas, I’m sure it must be nice to just know someone cares and is thinking when something such as this is done. x

  19. Awww…very considerate ideas – we often get so busy with our own lives…well I often forget and get lazy about these types of assistance – and I do love helping and surprising others in need – thank you 🙂

  20. Each and every tip is so helpful. I personally think dinner and house cleaner, both are good ways to help people in difficult situations. Blessing for the families coping with CHD; I wish they all lead a normal life

  21. These are great tips. We all have to support each other, especially when there is a child in need.

  22. Aimee. these are some great tips. Offerin’ to help out, clean. watch kids is always helpful. And homecooked meals are always welcome no matter the situation.

  23. I offer to help people clean their house all the time. I think its one way you can show you love them and care about them. It’s hard to be a parent to a child with special needs of any kind, I can totally relate to this and that’s why I think its great when we help each other by reaching out and making a meal, cleaning, babysitting, etc.

  24. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    I think the home cooked meal idea is awesome. I remember people did that for me after having each of my kids and it was such a huge help!

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