Why Women With Cerebral Palsy Are Saying Yes to Pregnancy
Thinking of having children as a woman with cerebral palsy? The good news is that cerebral palsy isn’t an inheritable condition and there’s no medical evidence to suggest that women with cerebral palsy shouldn’t have them. Many women with CP go on to have healthy children and full, loving families. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking of getting pregnant with CP to have the safest pregnancy possible.
Do Women With Cerebral Palsy Face Physical Challenges During Pregnancy?
While cerebral palsy can cause spasms and make day to day life difficult for women, there’s no evidence to suggest that this should cause any problems in your body’s ability to become pregnant and have a child. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t face any unique challenges. Having a child is an incredible physical feat, and you may have to adjust your daily schedule or enroll in increased physical therapy to better handle your body while pregnant. None of these factors present a limit on your body’s ability to have children.
Pregnancy and Cerebral Palsy Medication
If you’re thinking of becoming pregnant, then you will want to speak with your doctor about how any medication you may be on to manage your CP could affect your child. Tell them your plans and they can inform you if your medications could pose a risk to your developing child. Your doctor may recommend alternatives to medication to manage your condition for the duration of your pregnancy.
Spasms and Pregnancy
If you tend to experience spasms with your cerebral palsy, you may find that these change during your pregnancy. Some women report an increase in the spasms, while others report no change, while some even report an improvement in their condition. Normally these don’t pose a risk to the child and the cervix is able to safely deliver them.
If you are having spasms during your actual delivery, it’s unlikely that you’ll be given an epidural shot to assist with pain management. Attempting to do so could injure you or your child. You may have to utilize alternative methods for managing pain, such as deep breathing, during your delivery.
Evaluating Care Providers
One of the most important things you’ll need to do if you’re getting pregnant with CP is to find a care provider who you can trust to deliver your child safely. Speak with different doctors and get a sense of the following:
- The level of care they will give you
- Their adherence to standard medical practices
- Experienced that others have had with them
- The level of attention they provide to you
- Their openness in answering your questions
Doctors that take the time to speak with you, answer your questions, and who are upfront on their past experience (or lack thereof) in delivering children for women with CP can be reliable partners for you. Choosing a doctor that doesn’t put this effort into you can increase the likelihood that you become a victim of medical malpractice and a baby’s risk of being born with cerebral palsy.
Having children is one of the greatest joys in life, and many women with cerebral palsy are able to do so successfully. In all likelihood, so can you, and taking the appropriate steps to care for your future family now can give you the best chance of successful delivery. However, in the event that you suffer from birth complications, an experienced birth injury lawyer can be a powerful ally who can help you obtain the compensation you and your child are entitled to.