Some pregnancies, for a variety of reasons, are riskier than others when it comes to health dangers to the mother and baby. Women with high-risk pregnancies need to be monitored more closely than other expectant mothers, and will usually be subjected to numerous tests. These women will usually be referred to physicians who specialize in high-risk pregnancies, known as maternal-fetal specialists. There are many factors and conditions that can lead to high-risk pregnancies, and women who are thinking about having a baby should be aware of them.
Conditions that Can Lead to High-Risk Pregnancies and Potential Cerebral Palsy Causes
The following are some of the conditions that often cause high-risk pregnancies:
1. High Blood Pressure: When a pregnant woman has high blood pressure, or hypertension, this can decrease the flow of oxygen-rich blood to her baby. Mothers with untreated high blood pressure often end up with kidney damage, which can cause the baby to have a low birth weight. Finally, high blood pressure can also lead to preeclampsia, which can cause abnormal growth in the baby.
2. Diabetes: Whether it is diagnosed before or during pregnancy, a mother’s diabetes can have harmful effects on a baby. Diabetes prevents the body from getting as much insulin as it needs, and therefore from converting glucose into energy. Almost 20% of pregnant women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and the condition typically occurs about midway through pregnancy. The mother’s abnormally high blood sugar levels can cause the baby to be very large, and therefore can lead to a difficult and dangerous delivery.
3. Obesity: A mother’s obesity puts her at risk of developing many conditions (including diabetes and hypertension) that can harm her baby. In addition, an obese mother is more likely to require a C-section delivery or vacuum extraction rather than a natural birth. Women who are thinking about getting pregnant should be careful about watching their weight, and pregnant women should try to avoid gaining a great deal of weight.
4. Multiple Gestation: Women who are pregnant with twins, triplets, or more are at risk for giving birth prematurely and for requiring C-section deliveries. Also, twins and triplets are more likely to be small for their size and are at a higher risk for developing breathing problems after birth.
5. First-time Pregnancy: Women who are pregnant for the first time after the age of 35 are at an increased risk for requiring a C-section, experiencing complications during delivery, and having a baby with a genetic disorder.
All of these conditions, as well as many others, can increase the risk of having a child that develops cerebral palsy. Women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant should consult with a doctor in order to understand all of the risks.
What to Do if Your Child Has Cerebral Palsy
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and you believe this condition may be the result of medical negligence, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. An attorney can review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a viable claim. If so, they can help you seek the compensation you deserve.