Eating a healthy diet during pregnancy means that both mother and baby receive all the vitamins and minerals they need. A nutritious, well- balanced diet is one that is varied and includes a wide range of foods including. Starchy foods such as cereal, bread , potatoes Plenty of fruit and vegetables that supply vitamins and fibre Foods rich in protein such as meat, fish, eggs, and pulses. Diary foods which supply calcium Foods rich in polyunsaturated fats, such as oily fish like salmon and trout. It is best to avoid a lot of sugary, salty or fatty foods. A well- balanced vegetarian diet should provide all that is needed, but vegans may need to take advice for supplements such as calcium, vitamins D and vitamin B 12.

What is Downs syndrome?

Down syndrome is one of the most common genetic disorders. It’s caused by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome number 21.

This condition is called trisomy 21.

What problems do babies with Down syndrome have?

Down syndrome usually causes mild to moderate mental retardation or slow mental growth. Almost half of babies with Down syndrome are born with heart problems. Some of these problems can only be fixed with surgery. Some babies with Down syndrome babies also have intestinal problems, vision trouble or hearing loss. Many of these problems can be treated.

How do one know about this condition?

A blood test called the “ triple screen “ can be done between the 15th and the 22nd weeks of pregnancy, but it’s more accurate when done between the 16 th and 18 th weeks. The triple screen cannot tell for sure if your baby has Down syndrome, but it can tell if the risk is higher .If the test is positive, it means your risk of having a baby with Down syndrome is higher. But remember that many women with a positive triple screen have babies without Down syndrome.

A negative triple screen means that the chance of Down syndrome is low. However it doesn’t guarantee that a baby doesn’t have Down syndrome.

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