My first child suffers from cerebral palsy. She is now 6 years old and is undergoing treatment in Kerala. I am 32 years old and my husband is 39 years old. We want to go for a second child and need your expert advice whether we should go ahead with this.
I am sure your doctor who helped you with the birth, and care, of your daughter has explained what cerebral palsy (CP) is. Like you, many parents often wonder what caused their first born’s CP, since it is pretty hard to determine. They also want to know if future pregnancies will result in their second child suffering from CP as well.
The first thing I would like to inform you is that cerebral palsy is not a hereditary condition. So you can plan your next pregnancy without worry, but please take your doctor into confidence about your family planning plan.
Given the history of CP in your family, it would be best if you go for regular screenings and recommended tests as per your doctor’s advice, before and during your pregnancy.
Even when you are trying to become pregnant, follow a healthy lifestyle, which includes a nutritious diet and an active fitness regime. Keep your stress levels under control and discuss your complete medical history with your doctor, especially any ailments like anemia, hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.
Avoid consumption of alcohol, cigarettes or any unapproved drugs as they might cause certain birth defects in a fetus.
After your baby’s birth, your doctor will suggest several do’s and don’ts, which you should follow religiously. For instance, always be gentle with your newborn and never risk jerky movements with the baby as it could heighten the risk of CP.
Go for vaccinations as per the schedule and stick to breastfeeding as much as possible, as it is very beneficial for the baby. Follow all precautions properly and you should be fine. All the best.