Symptoms of a Down’s syndrome pregnancy
There is no one cause of Down’s syndrome; primarily the likelihood of having a baby with Down’s syndrome is linked to the age of the mother; the older the mother, the higher the risk of giving birth to a baby with Down’s syndrome. Smoking may also increase the risk of having a child with Down’s syndrome. A form of antenatal testing, known as amniocentesis, can be carried out during the pregnancy in order to assess the probability of the baby having Down’s syndrome; this is an optional procedure. If the test proves that the baby has Down’s syndrome the specialist team will explain all the available options before a final decision is made, with regard to the future of the pregnancy.
Symptoms of Down’s Syndrome
Physically, people with Down’s syndrome generally look slightly different to those without the condition; usually they have a flatter region at the back of the head, a flatter nose and small ears. People with Down’s syndrome commonly have limited growth and are often fairly short.
In terms of physiological issues, people with Down’s syndrome are more likely to suffer from problems related to their sight and hearing and may contract cataracts in adulthood. Many people also suffer from heart conditions, which may be improved or cured if treated. Generally, due to an under-developed immune system, people with Down’s syndrome are more susceptible to catching illnesses and infections. Depending on the severity of the condition, some sufferers will need constant care, while those with milder forms may be able to live a relatively independent life. It is recommended that those with Down’s syndrome attend regular check-ups with their GP or specialist consultant in order to monitor any pre-existing conditions and ensure good health.