Cerebral palsy is often caused during pregnancy, so can this be detected before birth?
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a developmental disorder affecting a child’s movement, speech and muscle tone. This condition is usually discovered in the months after birth and may take about a year to accurately diagnose. While there are no certain signs of cerebral palsy during pregnancy, there are certain factors which result in an increased risk of CP, and there are times when the condition is apparent minutes after a birth. While there are many causes of cerebral palsy, the fact is that the majority of these occur during pregnancy or the birthing process.
Cerebral palsy during pregnancy.Cerebral palsy during pregnancy may be caused by physical trauma or infections. These infections are usually bacterial, parasitic or viral and may affect both the unborn baby and mother. In most cases, the mother passes on the illness to the baby through the outer membrane enclosing the unborn baby. These illnesses result in fever or conditions that can disrupt the optimum conditions necessary for the fetus to develop properly in the mother’s womb.
Common issues you need to watch out for during pregnancy:
- Urinary tract infections
These illnesses should ideally be stopped in their tracks before they cause any kind of damage to the baby. Cerebral palsy is often caused by an infection or temperature increase as this can cause damage to the developing brain.
Risk Factor: Differing blood types between mother and baby.
In some cases, mothers with a different blood type compared to that of their baby may have an increased risk of birthing a child with cerebral palsy. This is because the mother’s body may produce antibodies which will go on to attack various organs in the baby. This can result in the child developing jaundice, leading to brain damage and the development of cerebral palsy.
Risk factors: jaundice, diabetes and hypertension.
Bilirubin, which the body produces in excess as a result of jaundice, can cross the blood brain barrier and become toxic to brain cells resulting in CP. Mothers who have diabetes or hypertension may also be at risk of having difficult pregnancies, something that may heighten the risk of the baby developing cerebral palsy.
The doctor’s role.
It is the responsibility of your prenatal doctor to monitor you and your baby’s overall health in order to stop these infections and pre-existing conditions from causing cerebral palsy. If your child developed CP as a result of a doctor’s negligence during the prenatal period because of things like not screening for certain conditions or not treating infectious diseases in a timely manner), you may be eligible for compensation by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Cerebral palsy has no cure; because of this, it may require a lifetime of rehabilitation. These costs rack up with time. By seeking legal assistance, your child may be able to recover the financial support needed to pay for his or her rehabilitation, equipment and more for a long time to come.
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