10 Ways to Prevent Down Syndrome in Baby
Most of people know about Down syndrome. Down syndrome is a genetic condition that causes an inability to learn something. This condition also shows the existence of different features physically.
Surely, every pregnant woman wants to have a perfectly healthy baby. However, development of physical and mental disorders, including Down syndrome is not that rare and it is quite worrying for women who are pregnant.
There are a number of factors that are known to be the cause of Down syndrome in infants, namely:
- Pregnant women previously have a baby who has also suffered from Down syndrome.
- During pregnancy, the mother is not getting enough nutrition.
- Age of the mother during pregnancy under 20 years or over 35 years.
- The pregnant woman has a medical history which states that in her health condition there are chromosomal abnormalities.
If you are aware of the several factors that could trigger a rise in risk of Down syndrome in childbirth, the said condition could be prevented. Here are some ways to prevent Down syndrome that can be done by pregnant women in early pregnancy.
- Pregnant at the Older Age
As has been mentioned before, the risk of Down syndrome occurs more likely happen if the pregnant women are too young or too old to bear a child. For that, preparing for pregnancy at the age that should, which is at the age of 20-34 years is the best and recommended. By having a child at the recommended age, this can automatically prevent Down syndrome.
- Examining Chromosomes
At the beginning of pregnancy, this is the right time for you to immediately check your chromosome accompanied by a blood test. The purpose of this examination is to get real information about whether or not additional chromosomes are found in the fetus so that it can be detected earlier.
- Screening and Diagnostic Tests
Prevention of Down syndrome can also be done by screening tests and diagnostic tests during pregnancy. It is known that at the time of the process of fertilization, Down syndrome might occur because of the failure of chromosomal division, for example instead of split into 2, the chromosome is split into 3. By taking examination, it will be helpful to find out the excess chromosome and resulted in Down syndrome.
Screening for pregnancy itself is the examination of AFP or Alfa Feto Protein, hormones, and ultrasound screening that will help you to know the existence of anatomical abnormalities of the fetus or not. Ultrasound screening is preferred for pregnant women when the gestational age stays between 11 and 13 weeks.
However, especially for pregnant women whose age are in 35 years and over, ultrasound can be implemented at the age of pregnancy between 18 to 22 weeks. Because pregnancy at that age is more vulnerable and threatened by Down syndrome, thus examination must be taken.
- Doing Antenatal Tests
Antenatal tests are examination of amniotic fluid and blood at once. By taking the path or procedure of this examination, Down syndrome can be detected in more detail and earlier.
- Perform Routine Pregnancy Examination
In order to keep the condition of mother and fetus stay healthy and to prevent something that is not expected to happen, doing a medical check up and pregrnanvy examination on regular basis will be very helpful. During the period of uterine, it is advisable for pregnant women to go see their doctor regularly, both to check the health of the fetus and the mother herself.
- Regular Exercise
Regular exercise specifically for pregnant women or mild exercise that would not harm the fetus, it could help the mothers and the baby to stay healthy instead. To find out what kind of exercise is good and safe for pregnant women to do, consult a doctor would be better in order to prevent bad things.
- Eat Nutritious Food
Of course the obligation of pregnant women is to consume food and drink that are full of nutrition for mother and baby to always stay healthy. Nutrition is not only needed by the mother, but also the baby to be born as a perfectly healthy baby. In order to apply a healthy lifestyle that will benefit both mother and baby at the same time, nutritious foods and drinks are supposed to be consumed daily.
Also read: Dangers of Spicy Food For Pregnant Women
- Have a Calm Mind and Heart
Feeling stress in pregnant women might have some impact to the health of the fetus. That being said, make sure to be keep your mood up and do not be stress.
- Getting Enough Rest
The condition of each pregnant woman is different, some women feel fine and happy to work or do regular exercise during their pregnancy, but some others like to stay at home more and do light activities. Whether you are a busy pregnant woman or not, an adequate rest is an absolute necessity to improve the health of the fetus and yourself.
- Avoid Activities that Might Disrupt Pregnancy
Apart from avoiding stress, for those of you who before pregnant love to eat junk food, you should also avoid these foods and switch to healthy food. Alcoholic drinks, smoking habits, and exposure to pollution are factors that can increase the risk of the health of your baby. Avoid all of this and start with a healthy life that will bring you and your baby to have a healthy body.
The birth of a baby with Down syndrome is also likely to experience a number of other health risks, such as hormonal disturbances, vision impairment, and leakage in the heart chambers. For that reason, you increasingly need to provide extra protection to the fetus so that later they can be born healthy and perfect without any health disorders..
Symptoms and Characteristics of Down Syndrome
If you are not too familiar with the condition of Down syndrome, then there are a number of traits and symptoms that can be seen below about people who suffer from Down syndrome.
- In general, the nose of Down syndrome sufferers appears flat.
- The head shape of sufferers is usually smaller or can be called microcephaly.
- The patient’s body will be shorter than other normal people.
- The tongues of Down syndrome sufferers are also known to be more prevalent where this condition is also called macroglosia.
- Has a smaller mouth.
- The skin of the patient will appear to be wrinkled.
- The eyes of the patient appear to be narrow in which the folds form in the middle of the corner.
- Both fingers and toes have a wide distance between the first and second finger dressers.
- Have the flexibility that normal people do not have and even this flexibility is excessive.
- Patients are also known to have weak muscles or also called hypotonic conditions.
- In patients there are small white spots that have the term ‘brushfield spots’ and it can be found in the iris area of the eye.
Advanced Diagnosis Method Down Syndrome
Pregnant women who have gone through the screening process and have a positive outcome of the risk of Down syndrome, there are further tests that need to be taken to confirm the diagnosis. Some of the recommended diagnostic tests to be undertaken include:
This test will be performed by a doctor, they will take a sample of amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus and is pulled through a needle that will be inserted into the mother’s womb. This test should be done when the pregnancy stepped on the second trimester or at least the age of pregnancy has reached 15 weeks. It should be noted that this test has a very low risk of miscarriage; the risk will be enlarged if the test is performed when the pregnancy is under 15 weeks.
- CVS / Chorionic Villus Sampling
A follow-up CVS is performed by a physician by taking cells from the placenta that are used to obtain a fetal chromosome analysis. It is recommended that pregnant women take this test when pregnancy enters the first trimester or at least after reaching the age of 10 weeks of pregnancy. The risk of miscarriage is somewhat higher when compared with the risk of miscarriage of amniocentesis tests performed when gestational age enters the second trimester.
The next test that pregnant women can also do is a cordosynthesis test in which the doctor will take a sample of fetal blood from a blood vessel on the umbilical cord. Examination is performed to detect chromosomal abnormalities and this test is recommended to be taken by pregnant women whose pregnancies are between the ages of 18 and 22 weeks. This test is at greater risk of miscarriage than CVS and amniocentesis.
Because these tests are at higher risk of miscarriage, which is why doctors will only offer when other test results are unclear. In other words, this test is not mandatory and should only be done when the previous test results cannot provide the expected information.
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