Cerebral Palsy Blog

Cerebral Palsy Blog

Risk of Brain Damage, Birth Injuries Spur Doctor Statement against Water Births

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

In countries like United Kingdom, obstetricians as well as midwives endorse aquatic labor, claiming that complications are fairly rare in such births. In the United States however, doctors and obstetricians are not as convinced that water births are safe for the baby or the mother. Recently, a group of obstetricians released a statement warning against water births as being unsafe for the mother and the baby. However, the statement does confirm that water labor can be comfortable for the mother, and can relieve the discomfort of the birthing process.

The statement is likely to be analyzed extensively because of the popularity of water births and the fact that many midwifery groups strongly recommend aquatic labor as part of the birthing process. According to the doctors, there have been individual cases in which the baby born into a water-based environment, choked or drowned during the birth. However, midwifery groups say that those cases are far and few between, and provide very little evidence against water births.

However, the midwives also suggest that water births always be conducted by a trained professional, and be planned stringently. All established guidelines must be followed, including bringing the baby to the surface as soon as the baby is born.

Broadly, only women who have had a complication-free pregnancy should consider water births. Additionally, women who choose a water birth must also be aware that there are risks involving brain injury or brain damage, when there is lack of oxygen in water, and the risk of infections from swallowing contaminated water. There is a serious risk of birth injury-related conditions like cerebral palsy, if the baby suffers oxygen deprivation in the water.

Do You Suspect That Your Child Has Cerebral Palsy?

Monday, March 03, 2014

Approximately one out of 303 children in the United States suffers from cerebral palsy. This is believed to be one of the most common motor disabilities, and it is estimated that as many as four of every 1000 live births in the United States, will be diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Male children are much more likely to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy than females, and black children are much more likely to have a positive diagnosis, compared to white children.

There may be varying degrees of cerebral palsy, and according to statistics, as many as half of all children with cerebral palsy are able to walk independently. The level of cognitive, motor and mental impairments also may vary depending on the severe impairment. Therefore, it can be hard for parents to spot symptoms of cerebral palsy. Many of the signs are not visible at birth.

Broadly however, there may be some warning signs that may alert you to the need for further testing and evaluation of your child. Typically, these symptoms can be seen before the child reaches three years of age.

There may be differences in muscle tone, and muscle tone may be either too floppy or too stiff. The baby may have stiff muscles, and may show tremors or poor muscle coordination. The baby may also have trouble reaching common developmental milestones. For example, children are often monitored for their ability to reach milestones like crawling, pushing themselves up on the arms, and sitting up on their own without help. There may be eating problems, including problems with sucking, and swallowing. The child may show speech development, communication delays, language delays, and speaking difficulties. He may also have trouble making specific and precise movements.

If any of these signs are visible, consult your pediatrician for a consultation and evaluation.