Finding Out
First Questions
Telling Others
Your Feelings
Looking After Yourselves
Feeding Your Baby
Your Baby's Development
Early Intervention

Telling Others

Your children
• Don’t be afraid to involve your children as soon as possible. It’s OK to show them you hurt - they realise that already.

• Tell your children in an honest and open way. They may not understand or remember all the information, so follow their lead, keep listening and answer their questions.

• Your children will follow your lead. If you treat the Down syndrome as just one aspect of your baby’s life, your children will too.
• You could read the ‘Welcoming your baby’ leaflet together or a specially written book.

• You could say something like
Mummy and daddy are sad because we wanted a baby like most other babies and our baby has Down syndrome.

• Follow your children’s lead in deciding what else to tell them. You may want to cover things like….
It’s not your fault the baby has Down syndrome.
Babies with Down syndrome find it hard to learn new things.
The baby will always have Down syndrome.
You can’t catch Down syndrome.
Brothers and sisters are very important to a baby.
We love you very much and we love the baby too.


Other people
• Telling family and friends can be very hard. Only you know when and how it is best to tell other people.
• Sometimes you need to tell close friends or family so you have someone to cry with.
• Sometimes it is easier to tell the most gossipy of your friends and ask them to pass the information around so that people know before they talk to you.
•Sometimes it is best to wait until you have come to terms with the news yourself and are able to cope with the other person’s reaction.

• Give your family and friends copies of the NZDSA leaflets “Welcoming your baby” and “I don’t know what to say”. You can get extra copies by phoning 0800 NZDSAI (0800 693724).

• You may find you are very sensitive to people you meet when you are out and about.
• Sometimes you may not be sure if other people realise your baby has Down syndrome. You can choose whether or not to mention it.
• Only you can decide how much of your baby’s story to tell someone and which words to use.

• Sometimes family, friends and people you meet say very insensitive and hurtful things. Try to ignore these comments. They are often based on misunderstandings.

• People will follow your lead. If you are open, honest and positive about Down syndrome, they will be too.