It's important to remember that your pregnancy is a natural, healthy process, but with more regular prenatal appointments, and a lot of time spent sitting in a waiting room at the doctor's office, sometimes surrounded by people with various medical conditions, you may start to feel that you have a medical problem. Even though you're visiting the hospital so often, you are fit and well; you just also happen to be pregnant.
At every prenatal appointment you will be asked for a urine sample, which is checked for protein. If you find it's getting increasingly difficult to catch your sample in the tiny, difficult to hold bottle you're given, don't worry. Only a small amount of urine is needed, so if you can't see anything just start to urinate and then move the bottle underneath the flow to catch some. Urine is sterile (unless you have a urinary tract infection) so don't worry about getting some on your hands-just wash them thoroughly afterward.
Giving birth without any medical assistance from a midwife or doctor might seem a little crazy, but a small minority of women believe that so-called freebirthing is the ultimate way to welcome their baby into the world. Some moms-to-be plan an unassisted home birth after having a negative experience during a previous labor; others want their birth to be "natural," "private," and devoid of medical intervention.
Knowing now will give you time to come to terms with the fact that your baby will have Down syndrome. You won't need any special equipment or toys when your baby is born, but you will need emotional support, so turn to the people now who you think will best give you this.
Contact the Down Syndrome Association for information and support, including getting in touch with parents of children with Down syndrome through your local support group.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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