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New video to celebrate new Kiwi babies with Down syndrome

The New Zealand Down Syndrome Association (NZDSA) has today launched a new celebratory video for new parents to mark the start of the Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

The Congratulations video is part of a series of video conversations with families with young children with Down syndrome sharing messages that they wish they heard when their babies were born and they also talk about the joy their child has brought to their families.

“Parents with a new baby with Down syndrome will have their ups and downs like any family trying to adjust to a new arrival in the house,” says NZDSA National Executive Zandra Vaccarino.

“Some parents may have questions about what lies ahead and we hope these videos will answer these questions and provide guidance, which will reassure them that things will be okay, or even better than ok,” says Mrs Vaccarino.

“Above all we want to remind new parents to celebrate and enjoy having a new baby.”

Congratulations and Couch Conversations with Parents are available on YouTube for parents and their whānau or friends and will also be part of the We Welcome Your Baby information pack that the NZDSA supplies to new parents, health professionals and their regional representatives.

Mrs Vaccarino says that new parents tell the NZDSA that the first few days and weeks after a baby has been diagnosed with Down syndrome can be unnecessarily stressful, because health professionals tend to medicalise the arrival of babies with Down syndrome and present parents with a list of potential medical issues their child may encounter during their life.

“Most of the time, these issues never actually materialise, but having the conversations causes needless stress and fear.

“Sadly, the initial conversations between health professionals and parents are not about celebrating the arrival of the baby or talking about what their day-to-day lives with Down syndrome will be like and how much joy the parents will get from their child, because usually health professionals will simply have no idea.”

Mrs Vaccarino says that hearing the stories from other parents who have walked in their shoes will give the new parents different perspectives to consider and provide encouragement for what lies ahead.

“It will also show them that they are part of a bigger welcoming community that support each other.”

During this Down Syndrome Awareness Month, organisations and individuals around the globe will remind their communities that people with Down syndrome can have wonderful, fulfilling lives and be valued members of any community.

To view the Congratulations video please go to: https://youtu.be/h2KO2zLYVn0

The complete Couch Conversations with Parents with parents can be found on: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQV3ZA7wKm69dPS69-YmmovuYfpz7V-TI


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