Can Someone With Cerebral Palsy Have A Baby?
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that cause physical disability in development primarily caused by abnormal brain development. People with cerebral palsy can have a wide range of limitations, but many with the disorder are still able to have children.
Women with cerebral palsy have seen success in pregnancy, with many women having children even with the most severe forms of cerebral palsy. In most cases, cerebral palsy does not directly affect a woman’s fertility, allowing her to become pregnant and carry a child to full term. However, women with the disorder may have additional health complications that could affect pregnancy, such as spina bifida, scoliosis, seizure disorders, or hydrocephalus. These issues must be addressed prior to becoming pregnant.
Preparing for Pregnancy
Women with cerebral palsy should speak to their doctor before attempting to become pregnant to make sure they have a healthy pregnancy. This should include a complete physical exam, as well as discussions about any medication taken that may affect the fetus.
The doctor may recommend certain treatments before and during the pregnancy to help manage the effects of cerebral palsy during pregnancy and delivery.
It is also important for a woman to proactively manage her physical health and disabilities. Eating a nutritious diet, exercising, and receiving physical therapy may improve overall health and allow for a better pregnancy outcome.
Women with CP can typically have a normal delivery, though doctors will ensure that delivery is as safe as possible, including the use of epidural anesthesia.
Due to the possibility of complications with delivery, it is common for a woman with cerebral palsy to be considered a high-risk pregnancy. As a result, the doctor may order extra testing and ultrasounds during pregnancy as well as increased doctor visits and monitoring of the woman’s health.
When the baby is born, both the mother and the baby will need to be monitored for any complications or potential problems.
It is important for a woman with cerebral palsy to receive additional support and help after delivery. Postpartum physical therapy can help the mother troubleshoot any physical limitations post-delivery, while family, friends, and healthcare professionals can help ensure that the mother and baby both receive any necessary support.
Having a baby is possible for many women with cerebral palsy. It is important, however, to take important steps before and during the pregnancy to ensure both mother and baby stay healthy. Women with cerebral palsy should consult their doctor to discuss their options and ensure they receive the proper care before, during, and after delivery.
Benefits of Having a Child:
- Increase in quality of life
- Getting to experience the joys and challenges of being a parent
- Creating a lasting bond with a new family member
- Adding to the sense of personal fulfillment