After the Diagnosis: Parenting a Newborn with Down Syndrome

BlogHer Original Post

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.

Read and print out our crib sheet on parenting a newborn with Down syndrome now.

 Photo Credit: Nicole Tavenner


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.

This post is part of the Absolute Beginners editorial series, made possible by Pampers and BlogHer. Our advertisers do not produce or approve editorial content.

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