Worried about Downs stats. Mum aged 34

Had my 12 week scan yesterday which was really cool! (If not TOTALLY weird!)

Seeing 'Baby Nutella' waving his/her arms about for the scan was incredible -and still slightly unbelievable...Even though I SEE a baby, it's still VERY weird to think I am carrying a little life inside of me.

S/he has 2 arms, 2 legs, fingers and toes, a fully formed skull and a heartbeat, so all good :D

Only thing I'm worried about is my Downs stats. Because of my age I started with probablity of 1:400 which really worried me. The measurements they did yesterday and my bloods changed the stats to 1:837

My husband was really pleased with this -as far as he's concerned, the odds have halved...which is true. But I've heard people say their's changed to 1:32000 etc etc and it's just got me a but worried.

The sonographer said that they consider 1:150 to be high risk so my stats are low risk.

I understand that if I'm 'low risk' then they wont offer me aminiocentisis...and I wouldnt want to push for it, what with the chance of miscarriage, if it's not been recommended as something I should have. But I'm still a bit worried :(

I just want little Baby Nutella to be alright :(

Are there any other Mums or Mums-to-be out there with similar stats at my age, and everything turned out ok?

25 Replies

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  • Hi, im only 25 and I didnt have any of the downs tests with any of my children but I think everyone worries about possible illnesses etc its normal. I would try and think positive your stats are good if they consider 1:150 low. Try and enjoy your pregnancy and count down the weeks until you can have a munch of the.little un :-D cant beat it xx im sorry im not very helpful xx

  • You HAVE been helpful. I wanted a little bit of reassurance, and you have given me that. So thank you.x

  • I am 29, husband is 43, and we dint care about the down syndrome scan either. Its our baby after all and whatever comes up we would deal with it, was what we thought.

    Try to stay positive and worry less :)

    If its of any consolation. my little sister was born when my mum was 36 and she has been the brightest kid in the whole family (including the extended one) so far. So dont worry :)

  • Thank you :)

  • Hi Queenie78

    I was in a very similar position to you 6 weeks ago. I'm 43 in a week so my ingoing risk was 1:38 (eek!).

    I came out of there with a much lower number, 1:700 odd - apparently the nasal bone and width of nuchal fold trumps the other scores a bit, hence the overall much lower risk.

    One of my blood test results came out as 1:30 so I was a bit panicked by that and we decided to go for a harmony test, as the amniocentesis was 1:100 risk of miscarriage, which seemed rather daft for a 1:700 risk. It isn't available on the nhs so it costs a fair whack at £600, and there's a 10 day wait, but it's just a blood test so it carries zero risk and it's 99% accurate for Downs.

    Anyway what I wanted to really tell you is that the lady who did the test for me said that she'd never seen a positive result for downs unless the risk was really very high, i.e. something like 1:5 or 1:20, so that does back up that your risk level is still very low. Kinda wish they'd said that before I'd parted with my cash, but hey.

    So I agree with the other ladies, that if I were you I would imagine you had 400 marbles in a bag and you had to pick one. You've got pretty fabulous odds there, so if you can, just relax!

    Massively hypocritical, I know!

    xx

  • Hi

    I didn't notice the sonographer measure the nasal bone -is that done at a later scan? Or is this the first and last time that they check for Downs?

    Thats interesting what the woman said about not seeing a positive test for Down's. The sonographer that I saw seemed VERY unbothered about the stats, so perhaps I should take the professional's lead.

    And I like the marble analogy. Thankyou, you've been really helpful :D

  • Ah it is ace having a scan.

    I really wouldn't worry about the result, if the hospital were concerned about your results then they would offer you further treatment. I would try not to get wrapped up in what possibly could go wrong as it will drive you crazy.

    From what they can see on the scan you have got a happy healthy pregnancy and have no concerns, start enjoying the pregnancy and try not to worry about that what ifs and what nots for now.

  • You're TOTALLY right. Thank you Megzey :D

  • Hi Queenie78.

    I'm 32 years old & my other half is 48 years old. I was offered the downs test firstly by my Community midwife & also from my G.P

    If i'm honest I never really gave it any thought or worry until they offered me as we are both fit & well & don't have any previous family history of serious illnesses or etc.... so I refused the procedure

    I'm now 20wks pregnant with my 2nd child & me & my other half have both agreed this will most likely be our last child as he also has children from previous relationships & this will be our 2nd child together after being a couple for 7 & a half years. (by children his last child a previous relationship is now 24 years old).

    I've now had both my dating & anomaly scans & both were absolutely fine with no obvious health signs detected. At times I think midwife's, G.P's & other medical practitioners can unnecessarily give you a sense of fear (especially for pregnant women) as we are unaware of what is going on & can only rely on the movement we feel from the baby to reassure us everything is O.K

    Just like one of the ladies said It's best to enjoy your pregnancy as much as you can & dont worry about the possibilities.

    xx

    I dont LOL!!

  • I definitely agree about medical practitioners putting the willies up you. My midwife made me cry at my booking appnt by talking about the option of abortion if anything was wrong !

    Is the anomaly scan the 20 week one? Do they recheck for Downs then too or is Downs 'done with, and they're just looking for organ development etc?

  • Hi,

    Im 32 and have a beautiful healthy little boy who arrived 10 days early, he is now 4 weeks old.

    When I received my downs syndrome results I had a probability of 1:370, at the time I had no idea if this was good or bad other than that it was described as low risk. I tried to research a little on the internet (worst thing you can do!) but it didn't really give a typical result and tell when you should be worried, after speaking to friends they assured me that it was nothing to worry about and that it was mainly due to my age, once your over 30 the probability is much higher. After a few weeks of sheer worry I calmed down a little and thought what will be will be.

    Then at a Christmas party last Dec I spoke to another lady who was 8 months pregnant who was a few years older than me and her result was 1: thousands (can't remember exactly), I remember sitting in my chair and breaking out in panic, how could this be, why was my result so low and hers so high, so the worry started again?! After a few more weeks of worry I tried to think of all the positives and not dwell on this figure.

    My sister lives in a different area and only got a letter to state low risk not a probablity, another friend in a different area didn't even receive a letter just confirmation from her midwife that she was low risk. This is a far better way to do it and I wish they had never put the probability on the letter, it is just causes extra stress and worry.

    As others have said, I wouldn't worry if they have classed you as low risk, enjoy your pregnancy and Im sure you will have a very healthy happy little baby.

    Oh when I expressed my concerns to my midwife, unfortunately she wasn't very helpful and compared the result to a lottery, I wasn't impressed and didn't find her helpful!

    Best wishes & really hope everything goes ok for you :-)

  • Defiantly agree they shouldn't give you number- low risk or high risk will do!

  • Thank you ever so much. That was really helpful, thankyou :)

    And CONGRATULATIONS with your little boy!

    I would have DEFINITELY preferred a letter just saying 'low risk'. What else do we need to know?!? I don't want to know HOW low risk I am, or be able to compare stats with another woman. It's just not helpful :(

    ...Which is interesting, because, if they had that letter system here, I could've been 1:250 and still be classed as 'low risk' (because high risk is 1:150) and I wouldn't have known any different. So, actually, I should take my odds of 1:800, accept that it's low risk....and r-e-l-a-x.

    Thanks :D

  • Hi I am 34! And recently got my results back at 1:153! As u can image I was anxious about what this means, especially like you when u hear everyone had the thousands!!!

    You need to change your way of thinking to help u relax..! U have less than a 0.5% chance - with this stastics - would u be prepared to risk having an amino which means a greater china e of miscarriage than having a baby with Downs!! Also think of the stastics - would you take an umbrella is a 0.5% of rain-

    No u wouldn't u would say the risk is so unlikely to rain that u won't bother!!!

    This is my feelings-

    Downs is really really rare-but No non invasive tests rules it out !!

    Be positive- that's how I'm looking at it xx

  • You're absolutely right!

    Why on earth would I test for Downs when the risk of miscarriage is higher than the chance of Baby Nutella having the condition ? ...And I like your umbrella analogy too :)

    Thankyou :D

  • I was 30/31 in my first pregnancy and had high risk of Down's 1:85 - I turned down the amino as didn't want anything that had any kind of risk with it. Baby came and is fine, no Downs :-)

    You just have to remember that 1:837 means that for people with the same stats 1 baby will be born with Downs but 837 will be born without :-) There are lots of support/advice places out there that your midwife should be able to tell you about so you can talk to experienced people if you are worried - I found them very useful in helping make decisions about amino and accepting my decision as right for me and my baby.

    Try not to worry about it xx

  • Wow! Congratulations on your healthy little one :D

    And thank you for the reassurance about the stats. My husband said ''Imagine 837 pregnant in a room, and only one of them has a poorly baby'' I know he's right.

    Perhaps if I didn't have this to worry about I'd be worried about something else ! (Before the dating scan I was worried I was too fat which OBVIOUSLY meant I was carrying twins -which put the fear in me! ...Turns out I just need to eat more fruit and less pudding ;)

  • Hi there, I am 38 years old and my test results were very similar. My first reaction was to panic, which in retrospect was an over-reaction, because if you think about it 1:837 means that your risk for Down's is 0.12%!!!!! But like you I was worried because although the amniocentesis risk is 1%, for me the impact of having a baby with Down's syndrome is so high that I was considering taking that risk.

    Then I came across the Harmony test which can give you results for Down's and trisomy 18 with 99% and 98% confidence respectively and results for trisomy 1 with 80% confidence. I thought the test specificity and sensitivity is close enough to amniocentesis so I decided to do it. And if the results were to come back problematic, I would then take the risk of amniocentesis. I did my test at the Fetal Medicine Centre in London (http://www.fetalmedicine.com/fmc/) and it cost £400. I waited 2 weeks for my results and was delighted that my risk assessment changed to 1:10,000 and I decided not to do the amniocentesis.

    I hope this helps you. And you will be happy to know that your worry is normal :-)

  • Thankyou. You're absolutely right about 0.12%. That sounds MUCH better! :)

    I know this sounds silly but I dont like the idea of having either amino OR that test done myself, because I'd feel like Im 'entertaining' my negative thoughts, if that makes sense ? (I dont mean that to sound like Im having a go at you; it's your choice; and if my stats were worse I think I'd definitely consider it.)

    We're also moving house at the moment so £400 would be difficult to scrape together -and justify to my husband, when he thinks theres nothing to worry about :S

  • I agree with you. Also the 20 week scan will give you further reassurance

  • Do they do further Downs' tests then, or is just organ development etc?

  • They look at things such as the length of the nasal bone which is a soft marker for Down's. They also look again at the nuchal fold. Of course they also look at other potential structural abnormalities e.g. brain structures like the brainstem that if abnormal can indicate Down's.

  • There's no need to worry as that risk is really low. Try not to compare yourself to others, your risk score is well above the cut off. Also I know they say that age increases the risk but anyone of any age can have a baby with Down's. In fact a lot are born to Mum's in their 20's so don't beat yourself up about the age thing either. Now enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. Xx

  • Thank you for the reassurance Chipper :)

    And you're right, i shouldnt compare myself to others...and .yet all I want to do is ask mothers than I know what their stats were. My best mate had her baby at 29 and she said she didnt even remember being offered the test, and if she did have it shes got no idea what her stats were. And her 3year old is AMAZING :)

  • I will be two weeks off 39 when I have my first child , I'm currently 21+3. I was v worried about downs etc so I went for my nuchal tests at a private clinic and thank goodness I was low rsk.but age really really doesn't come into it, me and hubby where qued up in mothercare on Monday and a young couple ( only in their early 20's) where holding a beautiful baby boy.... It was obvious he had downs.

    I'm sure you will be fine it's easy to say but worrying isn't good for you or bubba xxxx

    Xxx

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