Tired of insensitive remarks about her baby girl, Louise, who has Down’s Syndrome, Caroline Boudet, from France, posted an emotional blog on Facebook. Within hours it had gone viral, and has now been shared almost 40,000 times.
Entitled Words Matter, the post pleaded with people to be careful what they say to a mother of a child with Down’s Syndrome. “Mothers have a tendency to feel guilty about each and every thing, so a surprising extra chromosome… I let you guess,” she wrote.
“A remark that is not intended to hurt can ruin a day,” she continues. “I usually do not make my status “public” on Facebook, but this one will be.”
(Translated from the French)
Here is my baby girl, Louise. She is four months old, has two legs, two arms, and one extra chromosome.
Please, when you meet a Louise, do not ask her mother, “How come you did not find out during pregnancy ? “
Either it was, and the parents took the decision to “keep the baby”. Or it wasn’t, and it was a surprise that they don’t necessarily want to keep discussing.
Bear in mind that mothers have a tendency to feel guilty about each and every thing, so a surprising extra chromosome… I let you guess.
Don’t tell her mother “it’s your baby, no matter what “. No. It’s my baby, full stop. Plus, “Nomatterwhat,” is quite an ugly name, I’d rather call her Louise.
Don’t tell her mother, “As she a Down’s baby, she will… etc ». No. She is a four-month-old baby who happens to have Down’s Syndrome.
It’s not what she IS, it’s what she HAS. You wouldn’t say “she’s a cancer baby “.
Don’t say “they’re like this, they’re like that “.
“They” all have their features, their character, their own tastes, their life. “They” are as different from each other as you are from you neighbour.
I know that if you haven’t experienced it, you don’t necessarily think too hard about it but words do matter. They can comfort and they can hurt.
So just give it a thought, especially if you ‘re a doctor or a nurse of any kind.
I usually do not make my status “public” on Facebook, but this one will be.
You can read it and share it as you want.
Because each year there are (in France) 500 new “mothers of Louise ” that can have a day ruined by those kind of words.
I know it’s not meant to hurt. But you just need to know.