If your baby is born with
Down syndrome, you will likely have many questions and
strong emotions. Your doctor can help answer your questions. And he or she can guide you to
appropriate resources to help you manage your feelings and plan for your
child's long-term care needs.
Your doctor may talk about various issues during
your baby's regularly scheduled checkups. In addition to talking about health problems, your doctor may talk with you about concerns like:
Growth and development. Children with Down
syndrome grow and develop in the same way as other children but at a slower
Your support system. It is important to connect with other
people who understand and have had similar experiences. Find out how to contact
a support group or other families in your area with children who have Down
syndrome if you have not done so already.
How your family is
adjusting. This is a good time to begin discussing long-term financial issues
and guardianship for your child.
What kinds of early intervention
to pursue. An early-intervention program (for babies and children younger than
3 years) monitors and encourages the development of children who have special
What precautions you can take to prevent colds and other
respiratory infections. A narrow nose and air passages make children with Down
syndrome prone to minor blockages from mucus during respiratory infections. A
stuffy nose forces your child to breathe through the mouth. This dries out the
mucous membranes and increases the chances of an upper respiratory infection.
Also, discuss your child's immunizations. For more information, see the topic
If you have concerns about your chances of having another child with
Down syndrome, talk with your doctor at this time. You may want to discuss how
the condition may be diagnosed during pregnancy.