Whenever a baby is born with a serious medical condition, such as cerebral palsy, parents have questions. Some may wonder how it happened. Others may wonder if there was something either they or their medical providers could have done differently to prevent the condition from having occurred.
A new study recently found a correlation between mothers who had preeclampsia — a condition where mothers have protein in their urine and high blood pressure — during their pregnancy along with premature birth and/or low birth weight, and cerebral palsy.
According to the study, babies who had the highest risk for cerebral palsy were those whose mothers had been diagnosed with preeclampsia during the pregnancy, were born prematurely between the 32nd and 36th weeks of the pregnancy, and were defined as small for their gestational age.
The study also found that babies who were born at less than 31 weeks also had a greater risk of cerebral palsy. According to researchers, babies who were of normal size for their gestational age who were exposed to preeclampsia during the pregnancy didn’t incur an increased risk for developing cerebral palsy.
While the study did not conclude that preeclampsia and smaller than average birth weight or premature birth directly causes cerebral palsy, it does suggest that doctors should be more thorough in their evaluation of patients when these conditions are present.
Bearing a child with a condition such as cerebral palsy can be challenging for both parents and other family members. Parents who feel their child may have been born with a condition such as this as a result of their medical provider’s failure to diagnose conditions such as this one may want to consult with an attorney who can review their case and help determine their legal rights.
Source: Health Magazine, “Pregnancy Problem, Smaller Babies Tied to Cerebral Palsy Risk in Study,” July 10, 2013