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After Diagnosis

Although most babies are healthy, for some parents the result of an antenatal test will bring the news that their baby has a serious problem.

If you have been told that there is something wrong with your baby, some of the feelings you may be trying to cope with are:

  • Shock – you probably assumed your baby was healthy
  • Grief – for the loss of the healthy baby you thought you were having and for the baby you are carrying now
  • Anxiety – about what the results mean for you and your baby
  • Isolation – you may feel as if you are the only person this has ever happened to
  • Guilt – you may wonder if you did something to cause the problem (this is highly unlikely). Your feelings about the baby may have changed
  • Confusion – you may be finding it difficult to take in the information you’ve been given about the problem and your options

You may also be facing a very difficult dilemma about the future of your pregnancy. If so, you may want to know as much as possible about what is wrong with your baby. With some conditions, there is lots of information available, but with others, very little is known. You may have to ask to speak to a geneticist or paediatrician to get some of the answers you want and/or contact a specific condition organisation.

Only you can decide what is best for you and your family. Having good information and support which takes into account your feelings and concerns can help you to make these decisions.

ARC offers practical advice, independent information and individualised support to parents whose unborn baby has been diagnosed with any condition or anomaly.

If you contact us on our helpline, we can:

  • help you to make sense of what you’ve been told and to find out more
  • listen to you and acknowledge the difficulties of your situation
  • support you in coming to a decision that feels right for you and your family

ARC produces two publications for parents who have been given a prenatal diagnosis. One is about ending a pregnancy, the other about continuing a pregnancy. If your hospital cannot give you copies of these, please get in touch and we will send them to you free of charge.

ARC offers continued support whatever decision is made. If you would like to know more about this support, please click on the following links or get in touch.