I understand how Down syndrome may affect your baby and by extension, early motherhood. A diagnosis of Down syndrome means your baby has an extra chromosome at the 21st pair, which is why it’s also called Trisomy-21 or T-21. Babies with Down syndrome sometimes have added health concerns, and babies with Down syndrome are often misunderstood. My crib sheet contains a few things you can do to help your baby and your family get off to the best start.
- Take time to grieve the child you won't have as you prepare for the child you will have.
- Understand that there is a lot you won't know until after your child arrives.
- Meet babies who have Down syndrome to see how much they have in common with other babies.
- Talk about it with friends and family.
- Enroll your child in an early intervention program.
- Find the right doctor for your baby.
- Tap into the support network out there for parents of children with Down syndrome.
Jennifer Graf Groneberg is the author of the award-winning memoir, Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son’s First Two Years with Down Syndrome (NAL/2008). She’s mom to three boys including Avery, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome at five days old.
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