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Understanding cerebral palsy

Expectant parents in Louisiana should be able to trust that pregnant women and their babies will receive the right level of medical care during pregnancy, delivery and after. While this does often happen, there are times when medical professionals fail to respond promptly to emergency situations or even do not recognize warning signs that may indicate certain actions are necessary. Some of these instances end up blocking the flow of blood and oxygen to an unborn child. 

As explained by WebMD, the lack of blood flow to a baby while still in the womb or during birth can contribute to brain damage. For some children, this results in the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is not actually just one condition but a group of disorders that may be manifested by problems with muscle tone, movement, balance or speech.

Other contributing factors may include brain bleeds during delivery or just after birth or newborn seizures. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also indicate that inadequately treated jaundice may contribute to the development of cerebral palsy in a child.

Cerebral palsy may be evident in a newborn but might not be identified until a child is two or three years old. Generally, a baby experiences developmental delays at different stages. There are multiple levels of severity that may be experienced with cerebral palsy. Some children are able to walk without help but others may require the use of wheelchairs, for example. Muscles may be weak and floppy or they may be very stiff and rigid.



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