World Down Syndrome Day: Congratulations on the Birth of Your New Baby!

A message from Hayley Goleniowska:

"Every baby is wonderful, unique and utterly dependent on you. Your baby is no different. If you have received a diagnosis that they have Down’s syndrome, you may have worries and concerns about what lies ahead.

Just over eight years ago my husband Bob and I were in your position. My head was full of questions and my heart full of fear. In the early days following our youngest daughter’s birth, I doubted too whether I was good enough to be her Mum.

Outdated notions of what she would not be able to do were all that filled my head, while Natalia was completely unaware of the stigma attached to her extra chromosome. I wish I could have seen that she was simply our beautiful yet vulnerable daughter and she needed our love first and foremost.

It was her sister Mia who taught us this. Two at the time, she had no preconceptions about Down’s syndrome. She simply loved her new baby sibling, and was desperate for her to come home.

Mia struggled to understand why her little sister had to spend time in a neo-natal unit and why her parents looked worried and sad. Eight years on we produced an introduction to Down’s syndrome for children in the form of a book, simply written from Mia’s perspective, simply called I Love You Natty.

I desperately want new parents to see that things will get easier despite the worries and challenges. Our family has made some adjustments, but our lives have been enormously enriched by having Natalia in them, and we wouldn’t change a single thing about her.

Now we are adding a further layer of support in the firm of a set of Fink Cards, published by Lisa Warner. Talking About Down’s Syndrome – Conversations for New parents are designed to enable families, friends and professionals to have the most important discussions in the early days, that will set families off on the right path."

Hayley Goleniowska is a writer and speaker, working with parents, teachers and medical professionals as well as self-advocates who have Down’s syndrome.

Her work is internationally renowned and her blog Downs Side Up has won many awards for its outstanding contribution to society. Through her many media interviews she also hopes to gently change the public’s perceptions of the condition.

Hayley and her eldest daughter Mia have recently launched a book for children, entitled I Love You Natty: A Sibling’s Introduction to Down’s Syndrome.

Hayley brings her expertise on talking about Down's Syndrome for New Parents to Fink Cards where she will publish a new pack to help new parents find the early years' support they need.

Hayley is passionate about increasing the support that parents receive after unexpected news, whether that comes during pregnancy or after a baby’s birth. By easing their fears and helping them to sort the facts from the myths that often surround Down’s syndrome she hopes to buy them precious quality time with their newborns. For more information visit www.downssideup.com

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