My life changed in an instant when Erin was diagnosed with hip dysplasia not only did it explain her reluctance to walk and the deep unequal creases that were on her legs, it changed much more than that. Suddenly my career was put on hold as the enormity of her treatment registered. I felt devastated, I cried and I didn’t know anyone else that had been through spica casting. Jargon like pelvic osteotomy , closed reduction, open reduction were phrases I didn’t know, I felt alone and turned to the internet. I googled and read more about dogs with ddh than children. I could find very little when I was seeking reassurance and knowledge. Since that day I have educated myself and those words now trip off my tongue with ease and through my blog I have tried to spread awareness and support others going through this. Erin not only has ddh and hypermobility but asthma too. The asthma can be nasty when it causes her to struggle to breathe, she gets scared when her airways constrict and again I look for reassurance from others.
Therefore I was really pleased to see that there is more help for parents now and there are safe places where you can support and be supported. HealthUnlocked, the social network for health today has announced a new partnership with The Essential Parent Company. I wasn’t really surprised when I read from a HealthUnlocked survey that 40% of the new parents had never met anyone else with a baby with the same health issue as theirs. Couple this with the fact that over 50% of mums like to look for advice on the internet – it becomes obvious that there is a real need for impartial, medically trusted information to be available online.
The community will provide evidence based information on baby care from the UK’s medical experts. A huge range of subjects is included – breastfeeding, bottle feeding, weaning, development (physical, emotional, social and cognitive), massage, sleeping, First Aid and safety which can all be found on the site essential parent and baby care. The collaboration has been endorsed by Prof Winston.
In addition to babycare a section for those seeking support and advice on fertility issues has also been developed. The essential parent fertility section will empower people having trouble getting pregnant – helping them to ask the right questions and have the correct medical tests, before they even consider agreeing to IVF. The Fertility Course accessible in the Community is led by Professor Robert Winston, one of the founding fathers of IVF. Professor Winston says he “feels like weeping when he sees people undergoing 4 or 5 cycles of IVT with no success, when a simple day procedure may have been all that was necessary to become pregnant naturally”. Results in today from a HealthUnlocked survey show that Professor Winston’s concerns are widespread. Over 57% of the respondents were not aware there were procedures other than IVF that could help them become pregnant naturally. Hopefully this innovative new approach will help those that need to know where they can go for advice and support.
I only wish in those early dark days that I had the comforting words of people who had been there before me. I wanted information and the myriad I was finding was often unclear or contradictory. Having practical evidence based research and information readily available at the touch of a button 24/7 would have helped me as I came to terms with new vocabulary and a new normal.