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Moral dilemma

(135 Posts)
LadyEatsCrispsALot Sun 04-Nov-12 22:16:40

I met my best friends new baby of three weeks. She is adorable, but I have noticed some facial characteristics that lead me to believe she possibly has Downs Syndrome. I come from a medical background. My partner also met her and independently voiced his concerns of the same. He is also a medical background. I should mention my friend is not in the 'system' and chose not to have any scans or blood tests and had a home birth with an independant midwife. So do I tell my best friend our thoughts and risk our friendship? My main concern is an undiagnosed heart defect and if anything happened to the baby, I would hate myself for not saying anything. Or just tell her my worries and if she wants to follow it up then its up to her. It's really difficult. Any thoughts gratefully received.

Ithinkitsjustme Sun 04-Nov-12 22:18:24

If I was you I wouldn't say anything to your friend. I wouldn't rule out speaking to her health visitor who can listen to your concerns but can't pass on any information to you.

topknob Sun 04-Nov-12 22:18:38

None of your business, I am pretty sure they are aware already..doesn't mean you are awful for noticing just not your place to say.

CailinDana Sun 04-Nov-12 22:18:47

Oh no, what a tough situation. I would say something, I think, for exactly the reasons you give. I'd far rather my friend go mental at me than the poor child die from a reversible heart defect. Has she not had her checked over by a doctor yet?

McHappyPants2012 Sun 04-Nov-12 22:19:45

i would risk my friendship over a baby heath anyday

bumperella Sun 04-Nov-12 22:23:09

Could you not just encourage her to get a medical check for child? Then people who should be able to spot/diagnose a condition will be able to properly assess the baby.
No need to mention Downs Syndrome or aynthing else.

mrskeithrichards Sun 04-Nov-12 22:23:15

Why would they already be aware?

You have to say something.

mogandme Sun 04-Nov-12 22:23:46

What do you mean she's not on the system? Surely she has a health visitor? Why isn't she on the system - and a private midwife hmm very odd.

Tbh I would mention it to my friend.

Sirzy Sun 04-Nov-12 22:24:31

Can you encourage her to register the baby with the GP and then take him for his 6 week checK?

LadyEatsCrispsALot Sun 04-Nov-12 22:24:35

As I said she probably will not see a health visitor. And Mchappy I agree. We have a long and strong friendship but baby health rules over that, it's just such a difficult thing to say to a mum with her newborn sad what if I don't and that baby collapses. And then I say oh yes I thought something may be wrong. Not that Downs is wrong just that there is a 50% chance of a heart problem in children with this.

PickledFanjoCat Sun 04-Nov-12 22:25:11

Handled sensitively I would say something.

It's a tricky awful one, I expect it will be 50/50 on here which won't help.

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Sun 04-Nov-12 22:25:29

Surely quite soon she will have to be in the system somewhere?

Be it the 6 week check, vaccinations etc?

I wouldn't say anything I don't think. Tbh. Though that may be the wrong decision hmm

threesocksfortheguy Sun 04-Nov-12 22:25:29

I would tread gently as no doubt the mum knows something is "amiss"
but do beware as she might shoot the messenger.
good luck

CailinDana Sun 04-Nov-12 22:25:33

Bear in mind though - my friend has a DD who looked very much like she had DS as a baby. She definitely doesn't, it's just how she looked when tiny and looks totally different now. DS characteristics are hard to spot accurately on a baby - the main thing to look for is the folds around the eyes and the head shape, both of which can appear on a newborn anyway without DS and disappear once they grow.

LadyEatsCrispsALot Sun 04-Nov-12 22:25:47

Thank you for your quick replies. I feel sick about this.

mellen Sun 04-Nov-12 22:26:30

There are ways of encouraging medical contact without having to be specific about what your concerns are. Will the baby be having a 6 week check or vaccination?

maddening Sun 04-Nov-12 22:26:35

They do the heel prick test - this is for several tests - is downs not tested for at this point as a matter of course?

ujjayi Sun 04-Nov-12 22:26:52

I understand your dilemma but DS2 had facial features which led to several people suggesting (in a round the houses kind of way) that he may have Downs. It transpired his facial bones were compressed during the birth and session with a cranial osteopath sorted it all out.

PickledFanjoCat Sun 04-Nov-12 22:27:15

Before you sat anything specific you can really encourage her to go to gp for the 6 week checks, and get the baby in the system?

Feel for you.

Netguru Sun 04-Nov-12 22:27:49

My eldest definitely looked like he had DS. He didn't.

LadyEatsCrispsALot Sun 04-Nov-12 22:28:09

Thanks Cailin that's my thought too. What if I'm wrong and she just has these characteristics but nothing is wrong at all!
She doesn't immunise her children. Homeopathy all the way smile
She has a nursing background so I do wonder if she has noticed but isn't saying anything.

PoppadomPreach Sun 04-Nov-12 22:28:11

Given she has "opted out the system", if you did say something, would she be likely to act upon it?

I do agree with McHappyPants though - potentially helping baby more important than friendship.

Tough call though.

mellen Sun 04-Nov-12 22:28:51

The heel prick test doesnt check for Down syndrome.

VonHerrBurton Sun 04-Nov-12 22:29:01

I wouldn't mention it - but I think maybe you should.

Your friend is aware you and dp are medics and therefore more qualified than most to form opinion/voice concern.

CailinDana Sun 04-Nov-12 22:29:04

DS isn't tested for in the heel prick. It sounds like your friend is being quite irresponsible anyway Lady - does she have a fear of authority or something that has prompted her to go so off-grid?

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