One of the main questions on the minds of many new and expectant parents is, “Will my baby be healthy?” It is important to note that many babies with Down syndrome are born without any health problems.
However, it is true that newborns with Down syndrome are at higher risk for certain complications. While your baby may not have any of these potential complications, it is important to be aware of them so you can catch them early if they do occur.
Health Conditions Associated With Down Syndrome
Newborns with Down syndrome are at a higher risk for congenital heart defects, hearing and vision loss, respiratory problems, obstructed digestive tracts, childhood leukemia, and other health conditions. They also have an increased susceptibility to infection. Doctors routinely screen for these conditions because some, such as heart defects, may be present even if no symptoms are readily apparent. While the list of possible health problems can be frightening, keep in mind that your baby will not necessarily have all, or possibly any, of them. If he or she does happen to have one or more of these complications, advances in medicine have rendered most conditions treatable. For instance, the majority of heart conditions can be corrected through surgery.
You can ensure your newborn’s optimal development through informed health care. There is a tremendous amount of information available, so it is important to not get overwhelmed. Learn at your own pace, and try to focus on those things you can do right now to get your baby off to a good start.
You are your child’s strongest advocate and we encourage you to organize and store all medical records and to follow the recommended health care guidelines for individuals with Down syndrome.
Medical Resources for Parents:
- Click here to download the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Health Care Information for Families of Children with Down Syndrome.
- To familiarize yourself with the list of medical conditions associated with Down syndrome, click here.
- To find a list of doctors in the Riyadh area by field of study, please click here.
The information featured in this section is reproduced via an exclusive arrangement with National Down Syndrome Society [ONLINE] Available at http://www.ndss.org