Growth Charts
Possible Newborn Health Problems
Heart Defects
Gastro-intestinal Tract Disorders
Duodenal Atresia
Hirschsprung's Disease
Imperforate Anus
Tracheo-oesophageal Fistula
Congenital Cataracts
Unusual Blood Results

Possible Newborn Health Problems

• This section of the website is not for everyone.

• You will only need it if your child has been born with a health problem (a congenital disorder).

• It has information about the congenital disorders our children can have. Sometimes this information may otherwise be hard to find as children with Down syndrome may have conditions that are uncommon in other children.

Treatment and outcome for our babies has improved dramatically over the past few years so information from years ago may no longer be relevant.

• This information is not designed to worry you but to give you the information you need once you have been told your baby has a particular disorder. You only need to read about the condition your baby has.

• This just gives general information; your doctor will know the exact needs of your baby and work out the exact treatment needed.

• Just over half our babies are born with a congenital disorder; usually a problem with their heart, gastro-intestinal tract, eyes or blood.

• These are never anyone’s fault or due to anything a mother did or didn’t do during pregnancy.

• However unwell your baby is and however frightening this is for you, we hope you can see this as just one aspect of your child’s life, and love and enjoy your baby like any other.


Emergency hospital transfer
Some of our families have to pack and move with their sick babies at very short notice and with no time to plan their packing. Other parents say this is the list they wished they had.

for you
camera and film (even a video)
bank card and cash
important phone numbers
snack food/chocolate
pen and paper
magazine/novel
antiperspirant/shampoo
comb and razor
clothes (underwear, socks, 2/3 tops, 2 pants, nightclothes) remember hospitals are hot!
comfortable pillow (if room!)

for your baby
special toy
photos of family
special hat or socks
special blanket

Coping in hospital
• Your first visit to the neo-natal unit can be quite overwhelming. It may be very hot, have a clean stark look and have bleeps and alarms sounding.

• So much equipment surrounds some of the open cots, that the little baby inside seems insignificant.

• But you will adapt quickly. The staff are used to distressed parents and will explain routines and what everything is for. Remember the neonatal unit and all its expertise is just there for your baby.

• Your baby may be very sick and need lots of medical attention but your baby still needs a parents love; something only you can give.

• Many, many parents worry that their baby will die. Very, very few parents have to cope with their baby’s death. Don't be afraid to love your precious little baby. Whatever happens, you will remember your baby knew love.


• It is perfectly normal to feel upset, confused or numb at this time. Accept these feelings rather than fighting them. You may be tearful, short-tempered, forgetful and exhausted; these are all normal reactions to the stress.

Other parents have found it helps to;
• spoil yourself

• rest

• get information

• ask questions, read information that helps don’t get overwhelmed
ignore unhelpful comments even if they’re from people close to you!

• take time out

• bond to your baby decorate the incubator or cot; take photos; provide breast milk; talk to and touch your baby

• talk to another parent phone a support parent from the NZDSA on
0800 693724

• write about your experience