You will learn if there’s something wrong with your baby’s heart at a fetal echocardiogram appointment. After the physician reviews the images, they will talk with you about the CHD diagnosis, how it can be treated, and the prognosis for the condition.
Note that if the physician doing the fetal echocardiogram is an obstetrician and they see something wrong with the heart, they may refer you to a pediatric cardiologist to confirm their findings. The pediatric cardiologist would do another fetal echocardiogram and give you more information about the treatment and prognosis.
Hearing that there’s a problem with your baby’s heart – whether mild or severe – can be overwhelming and traumatic. It is a common reaction to feel like you are in shock, or that your brain is shutting down or racing with fear.
When the physician tells you about the CHD diagnosis, you will receive a lot of information at a very difficult time for you. It’s okay to ask for time to process the news or compose yourself if you become emotional.
You can ask questions at any time during and after the appointment, so don’t worry if you can’t think of everything you want to know immediately. For many families, the most important thing to understand initially is what their child’s quality of life would be with CHD. Over time, you will get the information you need to plan for the future.