Down syndrome and other genetic conditions are more likely to affect the babies of older mothers. The optimum age to have a child is between 30 and 35 according to a report by the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists. Women older than this have a higher chance of encountering extra complications that can make pregnancies high risk, the report warns.
A younger woman in her 20s has only a tiny chance of giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome. It’s below 0.1 percent, in fact, but this increases significantly as a woman ages. Data from the National Down Syndrome Society indicates that upon reaching 40, it rises to 1 percent, and by the age of 49 the odds are as high as one in ten.
The condition occurs by chance at conception and doesn’t usually run in families. Those affected have an extra chromosome 21, either in part or whole. Kecia and her husband Kris Cox, from Murray, Utah, were already parents to two healthy girls, Kyra and Adrie. And as a result, the idea of a special needs baby was far from their minds.