The degree of contentment of the parents (Table 37.6) depended on one hand on the final outcome, but also on the way the surgeon dealt with and informed the parents and patients. Some parents reported that the surgeon was ignorant regarding basic maternal instincts like breast feeding, which was especially important to these families. In 66% the parents received no advice from nutritional specialists, although it is well known how important this issue is, especially in colonic diseases.
Another important issue was the communication of prognosis and diagnosis, which predetermined the expectations in the first place and therefore the later
Table 37.6 Degree of satisfaction with aftercare by different degree of contentment. That is why we asked the parents if and how they were informed about the malformation and its consequences. Almost half of the parents received no information (4%) or insufficient information (42%) about the malformation prior to surgery. Regarding the information about functional prognosis, 63% of the respondents answered this question by saying that they felt that they were either not informed (27%) or insufficiently informed (39%).
It was also necessary to consider the psychological strain on the parents in the hospital. It is worse when the surgeon could not imagine what huge psychological strain the initial weeks in hospital imposed upon the parents. In the long term only very few families (17%) were offered psychological support.
In more than 40% of the cases follow-up was either not offered by the attending surgeon or the follow-up supplied was not satisfactory. That level is too high and can be improved upon. Given that the surgery could also be a financial burden, the rate of referral to a social worker was too low. The initial attending surgeon should have in mind all the ancilliary services (see Table 37.6) and at least have proposed their use, as the information of further supporting facilities improved the degree of contentment of the families.
Concerning how valuable the support given by other parents is, it is surprising that 21% of the parents were not offered any support by other families. For example, the parents were not informed about self-help groups. Our members confirmed that even when they asked, they did not receive any information about how to contact us or other parents groups despite the high level of contentment demonstrating the importance of this kind of support.
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For many years, scientists have been playing out the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect food for babies. They've discovered to day over 200 close compounds to fight infection, help the immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support brain growth - nature made properties that science simply cannot copy. The important long term benefits of breast feeding include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that scientists continue to learn, the better breast milk looks.