Having a baby is an exciting time for any expectant parent. A baby brings so much joy and possibility, and even the process of pregnancy can be a fascinating and marvelous one. After all, getting to see your baby grow on the ultrasound, getting to hear their heartbeat, and getting to plan for them is something that a great many people find a huge amount of joy and excitement in. For some pregnancies, however, not everything goes according to plan.
Right around the halfway mark, there is the major ultrasound screening used to identify any markers of potential health problems. If any health problems are identified, further screening will be necessary, as well as further forms of testing. In addition to this, some couples will opt for a series of blood tests earlier on in the pregnancy, which can also be used to accurately identify any potential health concerns. For many people, fortunately, no such health problems will be identified. However, some people will find themselves facing a number of hard decisions in relation to their child’s health, as up to 10% of all people in the world are living with some type of a disability or another – and sometimes even more than just one type of disability, for that matter.
For some couples, parenting a child with Down Syndrome will become a reality. After all, up to one baby for every 700 born will have Down Syndrome. In total, this means that there are around 6,000 new babies born with Down Syndrome every year, and double the number of parents now tasked with parenting a child with Down Syndrome. It’s important for those who are looking at parenting a child with Down Syndrome to know that life for their child is likely to still be a good one, as the outcome for people with Down Syndrome is improving dramatically as time passes on. As a matter of fact, the life expectancy for children and people with Down Syndrome is higher than ever, with most people with the condition living at least until their 60s. More and more people with Down Syndrome are even living into their 80s, which is on par with the average life expectancy for the general population as well.
In many cases, a longer life expectancy can be attributed to better healthcare options available to parents parenting a child with Down Syndrome. This is hugely important indeed, as many children with Down Syndrome have certain health needs. For those having a baby with Down Syndrome, learning about common heart defects is important, as many children diagnosed with the syndrome will have a heart problem, likely one that they are born with. This might mean just constant monitoring, but it could also mean heart surgery at a very young age. Fortunately, the outcomes for infant heart surgery patients are truly better than ever.
And thanks to Down Syndrome awareness efforts and understanding, people are learning just how capable children and adults with Down Syndrome are. For one thing, not every case of Down Syndrome is the same, something that is a common misconception for many people throughout the country and really throughout the world as a whole. Different types of Down Syndrome can mean different things for parenting a child with Down Syndrome. Therefore, learning as much as you can about your child’s condition is most certainly of the utmost importance. For a great many people, the clarity that this brings to parenting a child with Down Syndrome is hugely valuable indeed.
At the end of the day, parenting a child with Down Syndrome will certainly hold its challenges. However, parenting a child with Down Syndrome is also something that will come with a great deal of joy, as parenting a child with Down Syndrome will be, certainly in many ways, very much like parenting any other child. Parenting a child with Down Syndrome, as all parents ultimately feel, will have its ups and downs. But for most people who have taken on parenting a child with Down Syndrome, these ups and downs are very much worth it at the end of the day, to say the very least.