There is nothing more important to a parent than the well-being of their child. Expecting mothers rely on medical professionals and their increasingly sophisticated technology to notice potential complications and identify courses of action to limit the impact of medical conditions. However, this is not always the case.
Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage or brain malformations. Genetic abnormalities can occasionally cause the brain to develop abnormally, however most cases of brain malformation are due to other factors. Exposure to toxins can interfere with the proper development of an unborn baby’s brain. Between 26 and 34 weeks’, an unborn baby’s brain is especially vulnerable to injury, however damage can occur at any point in the pregnancy.
Infections in the mother or in the unborn baby can lead to brain damage. Infections can trigger strokes in the fetus, leading to oxygen deprivation; prolonged oxygen deprivation can cause brain damage which leads to cerebral palsy. There are also other factors that can cause this, such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, it is crucial for the mother’s blood pressure to be monitored and controlled through the pregnancy as low blood pressure can also put the unborn baby at risk for a stroke.
RH incompatibility is a condition that can also occur during pregnancy, this condition is when the fetus’ Rh blood type conflicts with the mother’s Rh blood type, which not only causes cerebral palsy, but also deafness. It’s so important for expecting mothers to make sure the doctor checks for Rh incompatibility as early as possible in the pregnancy.
There are approximately 1,800 children born in the UK each year with a form of cerebral palsy and a small proportion of these judged to be the result of medical negligence. If you are dissatisfied with your medical advice and want to make a complaint following a misdiagnosis or birth injury, companies such as First4SeriousInjury can give you all the information you need on how to make a claim to help you make the necessary adjustments to your life with a child with cerebral palsy.
To make sense of what happened to you, you might want to talk to a specialist to put the pieces together, go through your birth notes and question information you were told during your pregnancy, charities such as Scope and The Children’s Trust can provide you with the right support and advice.
Not all signs are visible at birth. Symptoms of cerebral palsy normally become apparent during the first three years of a child’s life, these symptoms include: muscle stiffness, muscle floppiness, muscle weakness, random and uncontrolled body movements and balance and co-ordination problems.
There isn’t a cure for cerebral palsy, however there are a number of treatments available to improve comfort and quality of life for both child and parent. Physiotherapy and occupational therapy can help someone living with cerebral palsy to be as independent as possible.
Cerebral palsy isn’t a progressive condition, which means the original problem in the brain doesn’t worsen with age. With the right care, medication, treatments and sometimes surgery, together with the right kind of specialist equipment in your home can help lessen the impact of cerebral palsy on your lives.
Charities such as Pace have years of experience tailoring different educational programmes for children with cerebral palsy to ensure that their potential for an independent life can be released.
This is a collaborative post