Cerebral palsy (CP) is a debilitating neurological disorder which affects one child out of every 323 born in this country. Although all possible causes of this disorder are not yet understood, steps can be taken to lessen the associated risk factors. Parents and parents-to-be play the most important roles in CP prevention, even before conception. By working with one or more professionals who understand the details surrounding CP, you'll be providing your child the best chance for a healthy future. a
CP is ultimately the result of brain damage that has occurred before, during, or shortly after the birth process. The damage itself may have been caused either by an injury or abnormal development in the young child's brain. In the past, it was believed that the majority of CP cases were a result of brain injuries that occurred during the birthing process, but recent evidence shows that only about 10 percent of CP cases begin during delivery. Some children experience a traumatic brain injury shortly after birth that leads to CP, but the majority of cases are now known to have their beginnings in the womb. As a result, parents concerned with CP should use extra care during the prenatal period in order to minimize the chances of their child developing CP.
Numerous risk factors have been shown to increase the likelihood of giving birth to a child with CP. The following steps will help ensure that mothers-to-be are physically healthy both before and during pregnancy in order to provide their developing babies everything that is needed throughout the entire gestational period:
Some cases of CP are the result of a brain injury that occurs shortly after birth. As a parent, you are in the best position to protect your child:
Not all cases of CP are preventable, but much can be done to reduce the associated risk factors. Raising a child is perhaps one of the greatest gifts in life; through careful planning and preparation, parents can rest easy knowing they have done everything in their power to ensure the best possible outcome for their child.