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Beautiful Blessings program aims to help new moms of babies with Down syndrome

The program runs in partnership with Midland Memorial Hospital.

MIDLAND, Texas — Midland Memorial Hospital held a conference Friday to announce the creation of the Beautiful Blessings program, which was created by Kathleen Kirwan-Haynie and Leslie Boswell.

The program is designed to give new mothers whose children are born with Down syndrome the support and local resources they need to raise the child.

It also serves as a reminder to those mothers that they are not alone and that support is always close by.

"I never want a mother to feel alone or not supported," Kirwan-Haynie said. "I know any new mother is feeling overwhelmed anyway. Sometimes when we have a baby that has any sort of challenges or disabilities, it's even harder. So, we just want to reach out and give them a beautiful gift and remind them that every baby is a blessing."

The program kicked off when the two were joined by MMH officials to give a basket filled with handmade blankets, reading materials and a list of local resources to some parents of a child with Down syndrome.

"The primary goal of the baskets is just for mothers to feel supported," Kirwan-Haynie said. "To feel like there are resources in here, there is somebody that knows what I'm going through, I can reach out and I'm not alone. So that's really the purpose of the baskets, and just to congratulate them on their new baby."

Sometimes these parents need a reminder that, even if their child has Down syndrome, that doesn't mean their life will be filled with limitations.

Instead, their future is just as bright as any other child.

"It's critical that you just get out from under the label," Boswell said. "Nobody knows what your child is not going to be able to do, and when you first get that diagnosis, people are telling you, they're not gonna be able to do this, they're not gonna be able to do that... the sky's the limit."

Beautiful Blessings means a lot to Kirwan-Haynie and Boswell. Kirwan-Haynie's brother Daniel had Down syndrome, but passed away in 2015.

Boswell currently has a daughter with Down syndrome.

Together, they are giving young mothers the resources they never had.

"Bring awareness that wasn't there when I had my daughter," Boswell said about her goals for the program. "It was me and google. I want to lay all this out there for them, where it's easy and not so overwhelming."

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