Expecting Parents

What to expect when you’re expecting a little one with Down syndrome
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Congratulations on your pregnancy!

The resources on this page are for those who have recently learned their baby might have Down syndrome and who are seeking further information.  You might also be considering prenatal screening or testing.

Finding out your baby has or might have Down syndrome is unexpected news. We know you must have a lot of questions and we at NZDSA are here to help.

When a diagnosis is made, it’s important to be able to access accurate and up-to-date materials.

At NZDSA, we accept that every parent approaches pregnancy and birth differently. You may be wondering who your baby will take after, what they will be like, or how Down syndrome might impact their health. You may prefer to have lots of information from the start, or to take it slowly and find things out as you go.

We understand this journey is different for every parent and whānau member, but we also know that good connections can make a big difference for people with Down syndrome and their whānau.

If you want to talk to one of our support staff about any questions or concerns you might have, you can call us on 0800 693 724 or contact us here.

Prenatal testing

Prenatal Tests are screening tests that aim to detect whether a baby might have Down syndrome or some other rare chromosomal condition.

New parent pack

Complete the form below to receive a new parent pack.

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What is Down syndrome?

Down syndrome is a life-long condition that may cause delays in learning and development.

  • Down syndrome cannot be cured but with early intervention and the right support networks your child can flourish.
  • Down syndrome occurs when a person’s cells contain an extra chromosome number 21.
  • Down syndrome is never anyone’s fault: it just happens.
  • It has never been linked with foods, actions or pollution and it occurs in all races and religions.
  • In New Zealand approximately one in about 1000 is born with Down syndrome: that is one or more babies born every week.

Couch conversation series

You’re also welcome to check out our couch conversations series of short videos, made with some of our NZDSA whānau.

These can give you a quick look at what life is like for people with Down syndrome in Aotearoa at different stages.

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