After your baby’s birth

Your feelings around the time of birth and what to do

If your child has microtia and atresia you may experience a variety of feelings – there are no right or wrong reactions. For some people, microtia and atresia may not be a big deal. For others, seeing it can come as quite a shock. It can take getting used to and it is natural to feel unsettled and uncertain.

You may decide to try and find out as much as you can about your child’s condition, or feel angry, depressed or even guilty.

The most important thing is that you give yourself time to adjust to the new situation. Having a new baby to look after is an enormous challenge in itself.

Some or all of the following ideas may help if you find it a difficult time:

Celebrate your child.  There are many wonderful things about a baby who happens to have microtia and atresia.  A newborn baby is much more than just the way they look.

 Find out everything you can about microtia and atresia. This will help you understand what is happening and what to expect for the future. You can start by asking your GP or paediatrician and you may want to ask for a referral to a specialist such as an ENT. Make sure your doctor answers all your questions clearly – you may find it helpful to write them down before your appointment so you don’t forget anything.

Talk to someone else whose child has microtia and atresia. You will be able to share experiences and get helpful tips. The Australian Microtia & Atresia support group on Facebook and the Microtia Australia Group Support site are managed by parents of children affected by microtia and atresia.  Here you can make contact with other parents who are going through or have been through the things you will go through.  They can provide you with a wealth of information and experience as well as emotional support.

 Look after yourself. Your own needs are important too. Keep in touch with friends and take time to relax and treat yourself. You are going through a difficult time, practically and emotionally.