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Cerebral Palsy and Its Known Risk Factors
The age of the mother during the pregnancy could have a strong influence on whether a child would develop cerebral palsy or not. In general, mothers who are above 40 years of age during the pregnancy are more likely to give birth to a baby who has cerebral palsy. Likewise goes for mothers who are younger than 20 years during pregnancy. Several studies have also pointed out that the age of the biological father of the baby could also be a risk factor. In many cases, a child born with the condition has a father whose age is younger than 20 years.
In the past, cerebral palsy had been referred to as black babies’ condition. This is because it has been observed that babies born within African-American ethnicity are more likely to develop the problem. However, these days, cerebral palsy is also affecting many white, European, and Asian children. It seems to never choose race nowadays.
Pregnant women with multiple babies are more likely to have at least one of those babies with cerebral palsy. The risk increases as the number of unborn babies in the uterus increases. It has also been found that if any of the babies die, the surviving babies could have a higher chance of developing the condition. This is more common among twins. If the other dies after birth, the remaining one has a greater possibility of having the condition.
Exposure of the pregnant mother to toxic substances could be considered a common risk factor for cerebral palsy. Some of the toxic substances involved include mercury. Thus, pregnant mothers are always advised to live in a good and clean environment without any unnecessary pollutant. Otherwise, there could be a possibility that the baby would be diagnosed with cerebral palsy after birth.
Of course, the overall health of the mother could have a strong influence on the baby’s overall health as well. Mental retardation, seizures, and thyroid problems are usually some of the common problems pregnant women might have before they give birth to a baby with cerebral palsy. Again, it is best if the expecting mom would appropriately take care of her own health so she could also take care of her unborn child’s.
The order of birth is also being eyed these days as a possible risk factor for development of cerebral palsy. It has been observed that babies who are first born to a couple could have greater chances of having the condition. The same goes for babies born fifth or much later to a couple. Blood type incompatibility between the infant and the mother is also identified as among those factors.
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