“This is the child we were given”: A qualitative study of Danish parents’ experiences of a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis and their decision to continue the pregnancy

Stina Lou; Maja Retpen Lanther; Natascha Hagenstjerne; Olav Bjørn Petersen; Ida Vogel

Termination rates when Down syndrome (DS) is diagnosed prenatally are high in most countries. Thus, the present study aimed to explore how parents of prenatally diagnosed children with DS experienced the diagnostic process and their decision to continue the pregnancy. The results are based on semi-structured, qualitative interview study with eight mothers and five fathers, who emphasized how they had not hoped for a child with DS, but strongly felt that this was the child that they “were given.” The couples stressed that DS was not the worst that could happen and sought experiential knowledge outside the hospital setting to explore the potential for living a fulfilling life with DS. However, some couples still felt vulnerable because they were aware that their decision was uncommon. We conclude that health-care professionals must be careful to speak in unprejudiced ways throughout the diagnostic process.

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Udgivelsesform Videnskabelige artikler
År 2019
Udgiver Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare


Stina Lou

Stina Lou

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Stina Lou