Being a parent isn’t an easy job. In fact, some could rightfully argue it’s one of the hardest in the world.
When you find out your child could have Down syndrome, you can feel completely alone against the weight of responsibility. How can you provide your newborn with the care and attention they need to survive in a harsh world? Having a baby with Down syndrome is not a rare occurrence, but a diagnosis that affects an estimated one out of every 700 children today. This isn’t a cause to be alarmed or discouraged, but embraced. Celebrating babies with Down syndrome is as simple as reminding yourself why you want a child in the first place.
You’re not alone in your hopes and fears. Learn more about Down syndrome below and prepare yourself for a long and loving journey.
What Is Down Syndrome?
It’s important to equip yourself with the facts. These will be your foundation to supporting a baby with Down syndrome throughout every stage of their life. This condition is a common genetic disorder, characterized by both its physical and mental symptoms. It is known for causing delays in essential development, which can include (but isn’t limited to) speech, mobility, and social adjustment. The best thing you can do is keep an open mind and an open heart, as love is your most powerful tool of all.
How Many People Have Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome is a fairly common medical condition. The United States sees between 5,000 and 6,000 children born with the condition every year. Over the past few years, however, the population of Down syndrome has been decreasing somewhat. Down syndrome education is a matter of speaking with medical professionals and remaining open-minded to new information. Each incidence of Down syndrome will come with its own unique challenges and should be treated as a journey, not a chore.
Are There Other Disabilities That Come With The Condition?
It’s important to be aware of additional health conditions that can affect the family when having a baby with Down syndrome. One common issue is issues with the thyroid gland, which can develop later in life and cause medical intervention. Leukemia has also been found to be much more common in children with Down syndrome than those without. Just like any child, it’s essential to develop a comfortable rapport with your family doctor. Make sure to regularly attend physicals and always follow medical advice as closely as possible.
What Are Common Concerns About Down Syndrome?
It’s understandable to be worried about the health of your child. That’s not a sign you’re being paranoid, but a caring parent that will always put your newborn’s needs before your own. Having a baby with Down syndrome can cause many to be concerned about their development later down the line. These range from being worried about making friends to concerns about aforementioned related health problems (such as lifespan, which ranges between 60 to 80 years). Having a child with a disability is not something you have to do alone, not with so many resources available to help whenever you need it.
How Can I Prepare Myself For What’s To Come?
You’re told you’ll be having a baby with Down syndrome. How do you make sure you provide them with the highest possible quality of life? The first step is to learn about Down syndrome with the aid of a pediatric professional. They can provide you a life plan to follow, ranging from medications to lifestyle structures, and take the unknown out of the equation. Down syndrome awareness, despite fluctuating Down syndrome rates, is only continuing to grow thanks to the Internet.
Having a baby with Down syndrome not dissimilar to any other disability. You’re already off to a great start!