A mum in the UK has issued a heartbreaking plea to midwives and medical professionals around the world.
Sarah Roberts is mum to five-year-old Oscar, who was born with Down syndrome. Through her blog Don’t Be Sorry, Roberts raises awareness about Down syndrome and writes about her experience raising little Ozzie.
In a recent Facebook post, Roberts explained that she’d prefer midwives to say ‘chance of Down syndrome’ rather than ‘risk of Down syndrome’ when speaking to pregnant women and their partners at their 12 week scan.
In the post, Roberts explained that a friend of hers recently went for her 12 week scan and asked the midwife to use the word ‘chance’ rather than ‘risk’ when talking about her nuchal translucency scan.
“Now anyone who has been following our page for a while, will know that I have been known to get on my high horse about the word ‘risk'”, she wrote.
As Roberts explains when women have their first scan around 12 weeks, they also have bloods taken, as well as a measurement of the fluid behind the baby’s neck – and those combined results give them their ‘risk’ of having a baby with Down syndrome.
“The reason I’ve been known to talk about this on here before, is because last time I looked, having Oscar hasn’t exposed me or anyone else to danger. Quite the opposite. So I (along with a lot of other parents of kids with DS) feel that ‘chance’ would be a much better use of language,” Roberts said.
According to Roberts when her friend requested the change in language, the midwife replied: “Of course. I’m so sorry we don’t mean to offend. I’ll make a note on your file that this is a sensitive issue for you,” and the sonographer reassured her she could “do something about it at 20 weeks” if she did find out that her baby had Down syndrome.
Roberts hopes her post will help to change people’s mindset and approach to Down syndrome, and the possibility of raising a child with the condition.