At some time, every parent-in-waiting worries that there may be something wrong with their baby. Usually, these concerns don’t last very long. Some couples get through these concerns by discussing them openly and by planning what they would do if they had a baby with special needs.
Women usually have more concerns about their unborn baby, because they feel responsible for their baby’s health. If something is wrong, they may feel it will be their fault. If this is how you feel, it is important to remember that while you can increase your baby’s chances of being normal and healthy, there is nothing you can do to be certain of it. There are some problems that cannot be prevented. Either the causes are not known, or they are beyond anybody’s control.
So, while it is important to do whatever you can to cut down on any risks to your baby, (by not smoking, by healthy eating and so on), it’s important to remember that you can’t entirely cut out the risk.
Some women find it very reassuring to know some facts.
- Of all the babies born in Australia, more than 95% are normal and healthy.
- Some may have birthmarks or something small that is wrong, but not something that will have a serious affect on their life. The risk of serious abnormality is very small.
- Amongst the small percentage of babies that have special needs, some have inherited problems and some problems happen during development before birth.
Good medical and midwifery care during pregnancy can lessen the risk of some of these problems and also increases the chances of picking them up early so you can make decisions about what happens.