Being told that your baby is not developing as expected will have an emotional impact on you. This is very normal, even if your baby has not been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition or one considered by others as ‘serious’. Everyone is unique and there is no ‘right’ way to feel. If it would help to talk, please feel able to call the ARC helpline. You may also find it helpful to talk to the healthcare professionals caring for you or with a counsellor.
It may be that you are and always have been certain about continuing the pregnancy. You may not have been offered a termination because your baby has been diagnosed with a treatable condition. For some parents however, it may have been very difficult to make the decision whether or not to continue with the pregnancy. You may still be struggling with your decision. You may be waiting for the outcome of further tests and scans.
Only you know what is right for you, your family and your baby. It is important to feel that you have made the choice that is right for you. At ARC we understand that the process of making this decision can be very difficult and painful. Please call us if it would help to talk.
What you need to know after the initial diagnosis
It can be very difficult to take in information when you are distressed or in shock. It is important to have all the information you need about what has been diagnosed in your baby. It may help to have someone with you at your appointments. It can also be useful to have a list of questions written down. Ask your medical team to explain things carefully and clearly, especially complicated medical terms.
ARC has produced a booklet for parents continuing a pregnancy after any prenatal diagnosis. It covers a number of practical and emotional issues and encourages you to consider your own needs as ‘parents-to-be’ as well as thinking about your baby. If your hospital cannot provide you with a copy of this booklet, please contact us for a free copy.
What ARC can offer
Please feel able to keep in touch with ARC for non-directive support throughout your pregnancy. We can provide a safe, confidential and independent space for you to discuss your feelings or just to offload.
ARC deals with every kind of prenatal diagnosis, so cannot offer contact with volunteers who have living children with a particular condition. We are also not best placed to provide ongoing support after a baby is born. We can signpost to condition specific organisations who do provide longterm support and may be able to put you in touch with families who have lived experience.
ARC’s national helpline
Want to talk? We’re here as often as you need us.
Our helpline is answered by trained staff.
Monday to Friday: 10.00am – 5.30pm
Tuesday and Thursday: 8 – 10pm – email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an evening call.