For Parents: What to Expect When You Get Home From Your Child's Hospital Stay

A stay in the hospital can upset the normal routines of the entire family.

Coming home requires some adjustment for everyone, and the recovery process will differ for each child and family.

Tips For You and Your Child After Discharge

After discharge from the hospital:

  • Both you and your child will need time to rest and adjust. Just as it took time to get ready to go to the hospital, it will take time at home to recover.
  • Talk with your child and loved ones about what happened.
  • Be sure to take quiet time to collect yourself.
  • Do things to help get back to a normal routine.
  • Don't expect too much too soon. Take all the time you need.

What to Expect After Your Child's Hospital Stay

The following chart outlines some phases you, as parents, may go through once your child comes home.

Parents' Interaction  Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
  • Spending extra time with child.
  • Allowing clinging/regressive behavior.
  • Allowing some special privileges.
  • Needing signals from child that he/she is okay.
  • Getting back to a normal family routine.
  • Talking about your child's hospital stay.
  • Sharing feelings.
  • Spending special time alone with your spouse or partner.
  • Assessing the impact of hospital expenses.
  • Resuming your normal relationship.
  • Accepting help from special friends or relatives.
  • Making some phone calls.
  • Needing less help from others
  • Meeting up with friends and loved ones.
  • Getting back to your normal social life.
  • Calling the hospital for comfort.
  • Adjusting your work schedule.
  • Resuming your normal activities and work duties.
  • Feeling unthreatened about and comfort with routine Heart Institute visits.
    Getting back to your normal adult life.

Contact the Heart Institute at UPMC Children's

If you have any questions or concerns, call us.

For the Heart Institute at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, call 412-692-5540.

Or find the phone number for UPMC Children's heart care near you.