Motivations and Features of Co-Parenting an Infant With Complex Congenital Heart Disease

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This study described co-parenting motivations and quality of co-parenting features for parents of infants with complex congenital heart disease (CCHD), including differences over time by illness severity. Existing transcripts of parenting experience at infant age 1 and 12 months for 23 parent couples were analyzed using directed content analysis. Data were quantitized for additional description. Six co-parenting motivations and five co-parenting features were identified. Two co-parenting motivations had not been previously described: Developing the Co-Parenting Relationship and Maintaining the Couple Relationship. Variability in quality of co-parenting features was evident. However, the majority of parents showed high ratings. Motivations and quality of co-parenting features changed over time and were related to illness severity. Our findings increase the understanding of what parents are working on as a couple to parent an infant with CCHD and the quality of this co-parenting. Several questions for further study are presented.

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