Sometimes cerebral palsy (CP) is unpredictable and unpreventable. In many cases, however, doctors can take basic steps during pregnancy, delivery, and after the birth of a child, which will prevent the development of CP.
During your pregnancy your doctor should be watching for signs of infection and factors which could put your baby at risk for CP. Conditions and events during pregnancy which can lead to CP include:
- Infection in the mother
- RH incompatibility
- Unnecessary X-rays
- Inappropriate medications
- Breech position of baby
Your doctor should be taking steps to:
- Minimize your exposure to infection
- Control blood sugar in diabetics
- Only prescribe safe medications and in safe doses
- Test for RH incompatibility and take proper action
- Assist you in achieving proper nutrition if nutrition insufficiency is present
- Prevent premature birth
- Prepare you for C-section if needed
During child birth
Proper fetal monitoring during delivery can warn doctors and other medical staff when a baby is at risk for injury and prompt them to take emergency steps to preserve your baby’s oxygen level and health.
Doctors have a responsibility to respond to fetal distress. When a baby is not getting enough oxygen his or her heart rate will change. When oxygen levels drop action must be taken quickly to prevent harm to the brain.
After child birth
Proper care of premature babies, treatment of jaundice when present, and administering oxygen to babies in respiratory distress, are just some of the ways that CP can be prevented after delivery. When Rh incompatibility is a factor, exchange transfusion can protect the baby from CP. Immediately after a child is born, he or she should be evaluated for any health problems. Pneumonia and other conditions which decrease the oxygen supply must be treated immediately to avoid brain injury.
You can help protect your child from CP risks by eating a healthy diet before and during pregnancy, avoiding exposure to infections, and keeping your baby safe from head trauma.
If you feel that you doctor is not providing adequate care, don’t be afraid to find a new doctor. Your health and your baby’s health are at stake.
Cerebral palsy is often the result of a birth injury caused by medical negligence. If your child suffers from CP, contact an experienced birth injury attorney today.