What Does It Mean When Your Baby Is Born With An Extra Chromosome?

Baby Is Born With An Extra Chromosome

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Are you losing sleep thinking of the growth and development of your baby throughout your pregnancy? Are you watching your diet and lifestyle because you know your baby’s health is at stake? Are you aware there are certain genetic defects that may be the cause of concern for your baby?

A medical condition that may affect the baby’s development adversely is the presence of an extra chromosome during birth. If you are clueless about this complex genetic issue read on to know more about babies born with extra chromosomes.

What Does ‘A Baby Born With Extra Chromosome’ Mean?

In regular pregnancies, the baby inherits 23 chromosomes from each parent and therefore has 46 chromosomes in total. In some cases, however, there can be a deviation.

  • While the sperm or the egg is still developing, there could be an error.
  • The error could result in your baby having 47 chromosomes instead of the regular 46.
  • Your baby was supposed to have 23 pairs of chromosomes but will now have 22 pair
    s of chromosomes plus a set of three chromosomes.
  • Trisomy is the condition in which a baby has three copies of one chromosome.
  • Trisomy is a genetic condition, but it does not always mean that you will surely pass it down to your baby.

[ Read: Genetic Testing During Pregnancy ]

What Happens To The Baby In Case Of An Extra Chromosome or Trisomy?

In most cases, if the fetus has trisomy, it will result in a miscarriage as early as in the first trimester itself. In fact, more than 50 percent of all miscarriages happen in the first trimester because of chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo. Certain fetuses may survive until the final stage of pregnancy. Babies who survive with the trisomy condition will have the Down syndrome at birth. Such a condition affects 1 in 800 babies.

Understanding The Trisomy Condition:

The Trisomy Condition happens because of a random mistake of nature during pregnancy.

  • Babies born with Down syndrome will have three copies of chromosome 21.
  • Babies born with this condition will have some level of mental imbalance.
  • Only about ten percent of babies born with this condition suffer from severe Down syndrome.
  • Babies suffering from this condition can have happy and productive lives if you give them timely medical treatment and special education.
  • Some other common conditions of trisomy are trisomy 13 and trisomy 18.
  • In most of these conditions, the doctor may diagnose the baby with severe mental imbalance as well as congenital anomalies.
  • Unfortunately, most babies suffering from trisomy 13 or trisomy 18 condition do not make it past their first birthday.

[ Read: Tests During Pregnancy First Trimester ]

How Can I Prevent Trisomy In My Baby?

The sad and unfortunate news is that you cannot prevent trisomy in your baby, either before or during pregnancy. However, here are a few things that you can keep in mind if you are planning a family or are pregnant:

  • The risk of a baby developing an extra chromosome is higher in mothers who have conceived at a later age.
  • A few prenatal tests and screenings can help diagnose any chromosomal abnormalities in the baby during the pregnancy stage. Some of them are the amniocentesis test and the chorionic villus sampling (CVS) test.
  • You can get a blood test done during the first trimester as well as during the second trimester.
  • The doctors usually advise a special ultrasound along with the blood test during the first trimester to analyze the back of the baby’s neck.
  • A blood test may be performed on the baby after birth to check for any signs of abnormality.

If you are past the age of 35 and are planning to conceive or are pregnant, your doctor may suggest genetic testing for you. Talk to your doctor about the tests and steps you can take to safeguard your baby from a chromosomal abnormality in future.

Hope by now you have understood babies born with extra chromosomes actually mean. If you have undergone tests for chromosomal abnormality, please share your experience and advice with us.

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