With the new movie “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” coming out based on the pregnancy bible, it is important for expectant mother’s and father’s to also familiarize themselves with the possibility that they may have a child with a special need. Of course, the last thing we want to think about when we are pregnant is a special needs child. However, a pregnant couple can just keep in mind what to look for or ask when they are expecting:
5 Steps to take when you are expecting a baby:
- If the ultrasound is anything but normal, or if they see anything that raises concern, find out what can be done immediately upon birth. You may also want to set up meetings with a therapy clinic to talk with experts and specialists.
- Read up on parenting, behavior management, and normal child development so that you know what to look for when the infant arrives. You do have a pediatrician, but you are the expert on your own child and even pediatricians will depend on you, the parent for providing any concern or red flags. The American Pediatric Association is a great resource as is the state association, such as the Illinois Pediatric Association.
- Tell your best friends and your family to let you know if they ever think something is off or up with your baby once it comes. Ask them beforehand, you may be too emotional afterwards.
- Eat well, exercise per doctors orders, keep yourself happy and calm, and avoid alcohol and non-advised medicine, see your OBGYN for regular pre-natal visits and stay out of trouble!
- If you are an expectant mom, expecting an adoptive baby, use expert websites such as the Children’s Research Triangle in Chicago, or Northwestern Family Institute, to know what to be looking for in your child. You may not have been there for the first months and need to be a super-detective when it comes to you child. Read the blogs here, to learn everything you can about child development!
While you need to enjoy your pregnancy, reality and knowledge is always a good thing to have just in case. No parent is ever fully prepared for a special needs child. However, have any knowledge prior to a diagnosis, will only help you make the right decisions for your child and family.