WHAT DO YOU SAY TO PARENTS WHO HAVE A BABY WITH DOWN SYNDROME?

When you learn that someone you know has had a baby with Down syndrome – or is expecting a baby with Down syndrome – it can be difficult to know what exactly to say or do.

 

Anything but sorry! Remember, this is a time to celebrate. So pop champagne, smoke cigars, bring balloons, and shake hands.

What you should say:

Congratulations! Every new baby deserves to be celebrated. So go ahead, make a fuss and share your excitement like you would for any new birth!

All the questions you’d ask any new parent. Are they sleeping? How much did they weigh? Who do they look like?

You’ll be great parents. Let them know that this journey may get challenging, but their baby is lucky to have them as parents. Reassurance means a lot.

Something as opposed to nothing at all. New parents may be going through a roller coaster of emotions, so hearing from friends and family makes a difference. Don’t be afraid to reach out and send your well wishes.

What to avoid saying:

I’m sorry. The birth of a new baby is something to celebrate, not mourn. Steer clear of condolences or pity, and offer parents excitement and positivity instead.

They’re all angels. People with Down syndrome are just like you and I, with a full range of emotions. So avoid referencing stereotypes that aren’t true.

You’re a saint. If a new parent is a saint, it can imply their baby is a huge burden. So avoid any comments that suggest such a thing.