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Preventing Cerebral Palsy - is it possible?
Extensive research into the causes of the disorder has been carried out to help find ways of preventing Cerebral Palsy.
Any expectant mother knows that she wants to have as healthy a pregnancy as possible. This plays a part in preventing a number of disorders in your unborn baby. Concentrating on your prenatal care can also help prevent Cerebral Palsy by lessening the number of risk factors your baby is exposed to.
Pregnancy and Rhesus Negative Blood Type
Having a healthy pregnancy involves regular prenatal checkups with your health professional to enable them to diagnose potential problems at the earliest opportunity. This is especially important if the motherís blood type is Rhesus Negative as this requires monitoring.
Rhesus Negative and Cerebral Palsy: Pregnant women are now having blood tests routinely during their pregnancy to check their Rhesus factor. If they are Rhesus negative they are able to be immunized within 72 hours of a birth (or a termination).
This incompatibility in blood types does not usually cause problems during a woman's first pregnancy, since the mother's body generally does not produce the unwanted antibodies until after delivery. The immunisation prevents any problems resulting from a blood type mismatch in a later pregnancy. Some hospitals are actually offering immunization during the pregnancy to eliminate the small chance of the mother producing antibodies during her first pregnancy too.
If the mother has not been immunized, it is still possible to eliminate any problems by close observation of the babyís development in the womb. A blood transfusion can be given to a baby while it is still in the womb, or after it has been born. A transfusion given to a baby after birth is an exchange transfusion which involves a large percentage of the babyís blood being removed and replaced with blood free from the antibodies.
Helping Prevent CP Before Birth
There are many other things that can be done to reduce the risk of a baby from getting Cerebral Palsy. A pregnant woman must pay special attention to her diet and ensure it includes plenty of extra nutrients needed for her babyís development. Obviously it is preferable to stop smoking, avoid consuming alcohol and also you should not take recreational drugs or non-prescription medication.
Preventing Cerebral Palsy Before Birth - Apart from working towards as healthy pregnancy as possible, which is every expectant mumís wish, there are a variety of other things that can be done to help prevent a baby from getting Cerebral Palsy.
It is very important that every mother-to-be who has not been immunized against rubella or German measles gets inoculated, preferably before becoming pregnant or very soon afterwards. She also needs to be especially careful that she doesnít expose herself to the diseases until she has been vaccinated.
There are other measures that the expectant mother can take during pregnancy to help prevent a premature birth and lessen the chances of their baby developing Cerebral Palsy. The mother-to-be should avoid exposing herself to any viruses or infections and be able to recognise signs that she may have a urinary infection. One of the main signs is if she has a burning sensation when she goes to the toilet. The expectant mom should always talk to her doctor if she has any concerns at all, no matter how trivial they may seem to others around her.
She must also tell a doctor that she is pregnant if he is recommending her for an X-ray of any kind. Obviously, if the mother-to-be works with X-rays, in any capacity, she needs to take extra precautions to prevent unnecessary exposure, preferably by giving up her job or moving to another area. Obviously she has to be careful about taking any drugs or medications, especially those not prescribed by a medical professional.
The most important advice I can give to an expectant mom is for her to follow all of her doctorís advice regarding nutrition and seek proper prenatal care.
Finally, she needs to protect herself, and her baby, from accidents or injury. If a pregnant woman does have an accident, no matter how small she thinks it is, she must always seek medical help.
These can assist in preventing cerebral palsy before birth.
Helping Prevent CP After Birth
After a baby has left hospital there are still plenty of steps that need to be taken to reduce the risk of a child from developing Cerebral Palsy. This is where friends and family can also get more involved.
Certain precautions can help prevent the developing Cerebral Palsy after birth.
Yes, a baby is susceptible to brain injury which can lead to Cerebral Palsy for the first few years of his life.
Head injury can be prevented by using the correct car seats to help protect a child in the case of an accident or sudden movements of the vehicle. Any medical professionals can help guide carers and relatives on the appropriate equipment.
Any form of impact to the head is to be prevented as far as is possible. A child should always be supervised and kept away from potentially dangerous situations.
If accidental injury does occur it is vital that the child is assessed by a medical professional as soon as possible to identify possible brain damage.
Jaundice At Birth and CP
Once a baby has been born he is still at risk from developing Cerebral Palsy. If a baby has jaundice at birth, for example, he will require extra care and treatment to prevent it causing Cerebral Palsy.
Jaundice occurs in the majority of newborn babies. You can recognise it by the babyís skin colour being yellowish. It is caused by the babyís liver making too much of a yellow pigment called bilirubin. This is usually not a big problem and more often than not it goes away by itself.
In these rare cases, the baby develops kernicterus. This is basically when their bilirubin levels are too high. If it is not treated then brain damage could occur, leading to Cerebral Palsy. Kernicterus can be prevented by phototherapy, or light therapy, on the baby.
In phototherapy, babies are exposed to special blue lights that break down the bilirubin. Sometimes phototherapy needs to be supplemented by a special blood transfusion although this is extremely unusual.
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