Tell It Right, Start It Right is our training for maternity professionals and student midwives. The training is designed to ensure that health professionals have up to date, accurate and balanced information about living with Down’s syndrome so that they can support expectant parents through the screening process by sharing the information in a non-directive manner.
Our on-going aim is to reach hospital trusts and universities across the country with Tell It Right, Start It Right to better equip maternity professionals to support parents during pregnancy and after the birth of their child, in line with their professional guidelines (NICE, 2008) and care pathways.
We have already trained over 2000 midwives and related health professionals and in the last 8 months have reached more than 500 student midwives and their tutors. Already this year, we have delivered the training in Rotherham, Lancaster and Manchester and have more study days planned during the next few months.
Attendees hear personal stories from parents about how they were told their child had Down’s syndrome prenatally and after delivery. We also introduce them to some of our adult members with Down’s syndrome who talk about their lives.
The study days provides the opportunity for attendees to discuss and reflect on their professional practice, particularly how best to inform parents of a diagnosis of Down’s syndrome and how to support them through what can be a difficult time:
‘A very emotive day. I thought I didn’t have any preconceived ideas about Down’s syndrome, but maybe I had. It has made me look at how I speak to the women in my care when it comes to screening and testing for Down’s syndrome’ Antenatal Screening Midwife, West Midlands.
‘I realise now that lifelong messages are taken away from words spoken at a sensitive time’ Midwife, South Wales.
Professional and students have learned from the parents’ stories how important their support is and how the memory of it remains with the parents for many years.
That’s why the training is called Tell it Right Start it Right, so that people with Down’s syndrome have the best possible start in life.