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New & Expecting Parents

Welcome new and expectant parents. At Ds Connections Nw, we know for a new parent, an unexpected diagnosis can be devastating. A child is born or a prenatal test is given, and the diagnosis returns of Down syndrome. Suddenly, the child you’d dreamed of, anticipated, made plans for, is not the child you have. What now?

First of all, let us tell you . . .

We have all been sitting where you are now, shaking with unforeseen emotion, our minds swirling with a myriad of questions, demanding answers beyond our immediate reach. Please know, those feelings, emotions and overwhelming thoughts are normal and not unexpected.

Let us assure you, like the parable within “Welcome To Holland”, where you are now may not be where you set out to go, but where you are heading has just as many joys, just as many loving moments, just as much to dream and look forward to as where you originally intended to go. Below are just some of the many excellent resources available to you as you discover and learn to navigate your new reality.

With the help of Ds Connections Nw and its parent/members, you can dream new dreams and plan new plans!

Please feel free to browse our resources. Then, when you’re ready, contact DsCNw either through our toll free “First Call” line 877.733.3955 or our “Have a Question?” form in the upper right hand corner of this page.

We are here for you. We can match you with other parents who have sat where you’re sitting and walked in your shoes. We can refer you to anyone in our network of community based service providers, recommend further resources including books and videos and even deliver a welcome basket full of gifts and resources.


Beau’s Baskets of Hope:

Ds Connections Nw is pleased to be partnering with Alaina Stevenson on an exciting new outreach project: Beau's Baskets. Named in honor of Alaina's son Beau, this is a new endeavor to provide welcome baskets to our local hospitals which can be given to families who have a child born with a Down syndrome diagnosis. It is our goal to provide a basket full of gifts and resources to new parents, and to say "congratulations" on the birth of your child! We see this as a wonderful way to connect with new parents and to help them welcome their new baby!

If you would like to donate to Beau's Baskets you can do so through the Beau's Basket FirstGiving page here. Click on the green FUNDRAISE button at the top of this page. You will be asked to register. The registration process is simply so we have a record of your donation and you can receive a confirmation email. You will not be sent any further solicitations nor added to any email list.  

PDF Resources

Diagnosis to Delivery: A Pregnant Mother’s Guide to Down Syndrome (pdf)

An extensive resource for the expectant mother. From the book’s introduction, “This book was written to help you through this time, to prepare you for the rest of your pregnancy and the newborn stage, and to give you hope for a meaningful future that may be very difficult to picture right now. You are not alone, and there are parents all over the country who are ready and willing to share their experiences, their knowledge, and their support at this time. Many parents are available to provide a helping hand in person, over the phone, or on-line, and this book is a compilation of advice routinely given by professionals and parents of children with Down syndrome. Your situation is unique and individual, and no one can ever truly understand how you feel. However, we can share what we have learned to help you along your journey.”

Down syndrome: An Expectant Parent’s Guide (pdf)

A concise, fact-filled booklet written in an almost bullet-point form, yet filled with a wide array of information for the parent of a newly diagnosed infant. From the booklet, “We understand you have received news you likely did not expect – the baby you are expecting has Down syndrome. We do not know how you may be taking that news, and we understand that you have a lot on your mind. So, we do not wish to intrude. We want you to know, however, that a large, caring community has been exactly where you are now. We have experienced the same confusion, ache and fears. We are ready when you are to help you understand what it all may mean to you, your family and your child. Today and into the future. In this brochure you will find some basic facts about Down syndrome. It is but a start and we know that, in time, you will likely want to know a great deal more. For now, what is most important is that you take care of yourself.”

A Light at the End of the Tunnel (pdf)

A collection of personal stories and reflections from parents whose child with Down syndrome was diagnosed before birth, beautifully written and photographed. From the book, “Although it is very hard, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Allow yourself to grieve for the child you longed to have, then allow yourself to learn about the child to come. Talk with parents of other children with Down syndrome and you’ll learn that the differences are not as great as you may have thought. Most of all, love your child – your dreams for him/her may change but you can still dream.”

Welcome to Holland (pdf)

A short story of unexpected blessings.

Web Resources


A great, thorough resource on receiving a diagnosis of Down syndrome either prenatally or at birth. This site has resources that answer many of your questions on the “what now’s?” at this critical moment in your lives and is available in both English and Spanish


A wonderful resource for expectant couples. It provides a wealth of resources including the ability to download free e-material, guiding you step-by-step through your pregnancy. You can also connect with other parents who have walked in your shoes.


An additional resource provided by the National Down syndrome Congress for new and expectant parents.The website for the National Down syndrome society provides excellent resources on everything from new and expectant parent material all the way to national legislation and advocacy for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities.


A great, thorough resource on receiving a diagnosis of Down syndrome either prenatally or at birth. This site has resources that answer many of your questions on the “what now’s?” at this critical moment in your lives and is available in both English and Spanish.


Reece’s Rainbow is an advocacy and adoption grant/fundraising organization dedicated to raising awareness for waiting children with Down syndrome and other special needs for the purposes of international adoption and social activism. The mission of Reece's Rainbow is to rescue orphans with Down syndrome through the gift of adoption, to raise awareness for all of the children who are waiting in 25 countries around the world, and to raise funds as adoption grants that help adoptive families afford the high cost of adopting these beautiful children.


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