Your pregnancy and baby guide
Having a baby that might be born with a condition
Open all pages about Your pregnancy and baby guide
- Secrets to success
- Am I pregnant?
- Early days
- Week by week
- Preparing for the birth
- Work out your due date
- Tests scans and checks
- Your pregnancy (antenatal) care
- Your health and wellbeing
- Existing health problems
- Common pregnancy ailments
- Pregnancy-induced conditions
Labour and birth
- The start of labour
- The birth
- Emotions and worries
- Premature babies
- How to breastfeed
- Breastfeeding problems
- Lifestyle and breastfeeding
- Bottle feeding
- Newborn screening tests
- Newborn essentials
- New parents
- New mums
- Twins and multiples
Babies and toddlers
- Weaning and solid foods
- Baby health and care
- Spotting signs of serious illness
- Reflux in babies
- How to take a baby's temperature
- Reducing the risk of SIDS
- Treating a high temperature
- Sleep problems in children
- Coughs, colds and ear infections
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Infectious illnesses
- Children's medicines
- Looking after a sick child
- Serious conditions and special needs
- Constipation in young children
- Your baby's height and weight
- Baby health and development reviews
- Leg and foot problems in children
- Learning, play and behaviour
- Safety and accidents
If you continue with your pregnancy after screening has found something, you might need extra care.
The care you and your baby need depends on the condition they have.
Support is available for any condition your baby has.
Speak to a doctor or midwife to get as much information as possible about your baby's condition and what treatment they might need.
Your pregnancy care
You'll be offered all the regular checks and tests everyone has when they're pregnant.
And you'll be cared for by a team that's specially trained to support you and your baby's needs.
But depending on your baby's condition and what's available in your area, you may need to:
- go for extra scans or appointments
- see specialist doctors (obstetricians or paediatricians)
- travel further to a specialist hospital for appointments
You can bring your partner, a family member or friend with you.
It might help to write down any questions you have before you go.
You could ask things like:
- Will we need extra support during the birth?
- Will my baby need treatment straight after birth?
- Where will this treatment take place?
- Will my baby need to stay in hospital?
- If they do, how long will that be for?
- How will my baby develop?
Your birth plan
Everyone's who's pregnant can make a birth plan. You'll usually talk this through with a midwife early in your pregnancy.
You can talk about:
- who you want with you during labour
- your options around pain relief
- your positions for labour and birth
- where's best to have your baby
- what care you and your baby may get
But depending on your baby's condition, you may need to make changes to your plan.
The charity SOFT can help you with making a birth plan if your baby might be born with a condition.
You may have a higher chance of going into labour early. Or your baby may need more support when they're born.
This may mean you'll need to:
- give birth at a specialist hospital with intensive and special care baby units – read more about the different levels of neonatal care
- give birth at hospital in a unit led by a doctor (obstetrician)
- have a caesarean instead of a vaginal birth
- have your baby earlier than your due date (by being induced or having a caesarean)
Speak to a doctor or midwife to find out your options.
The team are there to make sure you and your baby have all the support you need.
After your baby is born
What happens after your baby is born depends on their condition and how severe it is.
Your baby may need to:
- stay in hospital for a while after they're born
- have further treatment from a specialist doctor
- have further tests and checks as they get older
A doctor or midwife will explain the next steps for your baby's care.
Support is available
It can help to speak to:
- your partner, family or friends
- your midwife or specialist doctor
- a local support group
- charities for your baby's condition
- a counsellor – you do not need a referral from your GP (find out more about how to see a counsellor)
Charities that can help
- Call 0845 0772 290 (landline) or 020 7713 7486 (mobile)
- Monday to Friday, 10am to 5.30pm
- ARC has a list of other charities you can contact
Home Start – for families with young children that need support
- Call 0116 464 5490
- E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Shine – for families affected by spina bifida and hydrocephalus
- Call 01733 555 988 – Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
- E-mail email@example.com
SOFT – for families affected by Patau's and Edwards' syndromes
- E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Page last reviewed: 04/10/2019
Next review due: 04/10/2022