Parents in Lithuania need more support upon hearing their child will be born with Down’s syndrome, according to the Association of People with Down’s Syndrome and Crisis Pregnancy Center.
The latter is bringing “Baby nest” baskets to parents of newborn children with Down’s syndrome, while a similar project is due to be started by the Association of People with Down’s Syndrome.
“The main elements of these baskets are brochures with information about where to seek support, and encouraging words from other parents of children with Down’s syndrome,” according to the Association.
The basket also contains toys and initial baby-care products are also part of the basket.
“You should feel happy after giving birth, but instead the news comes to you suddenly and everything goes dark,” says Indrė, mother of baby Majus who is diagnosed with Down’s syndrome. “Everything seems very bad and scary.”
In such moments, she says, it is crucial to know where to seek support.
According to the Crisis Pregnancy Center, mothers get often pressured to have abortions, and medics themselves do not know how to properly deliver the news. Therefore, additional trainings are planned for medical workers.
“The first thing parents who receive the news need is psychological support to get over the fact” that their child is diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, says the director.
“Some medics simply give two choices – continue with the pregnancy or go for abortion.”
In Lithuania, around 40 children are born with Down’s syndrome every year.