Parents with an infant child are understandably hypersensitive to developmental difficulties or anything that might not follow a chart of established milestones. However, certain factors during pregnancy and childbirth can put infants at greater risk for cerebral palsy (CP). CP is recognized as the most common motor disability in childhood. According to CDC estimates, about 1 in 323 children have been identified with CP. But, what are the risk factors?

Pregnancy is a time of delicate balance when extra care and monitoring is crucial. Medical professionals are trusted to be alert to any warning signs and provide all of the information that parents need to ensure a healthy baby. Whether through literature or diagnostic tests, the mother and father rely on detailed answers and an honest assessment of the potential problems they face.

For cerebral palsy, risk factors that must be thoroughly examined can include:

  • Low birth weight and premature birth
  • Disruption of blood and oxygen supply to the developing brain
  • Infection among mothers
  • Birth defects of the central nervous system
  • Brain injuries during infancy
  • Childhood infections

One study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information highlighted the economic costs that parents will face in caring for a child with CP. Medical costs for children with CP, the study concluded, were 10 times higher than for children without the condition. In addition, the costs associated with children suffering from both cerebral palsy and intellectual disability were 26 times higher than for children without CP or intellectual disability.

Be aware of the risk factors you face and work closely with your chosen medical professional to ensure a healthy baby.