Can Limited Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy Cause Cerebral Palsy?
Studies have yet to reveal a strong link between maternal alcohol use and the development of cerebral palsy in children. While fetal alcohol syndrome encompasses conditions like cerebral palsy, this specific condition is still not common, even among mothers who consume large quantities of alcohol. A handful of studies with small data pools have reported some association between heavy alcohol consumption and cerebral palsy, but even those numbers are relatively minor, between 2 and 10 percent, and lack the scientific vigor necessary to draw a solid conclusion.
Maternal Risk Factors
Cerebral palsy is often the result of careless, negligent, or poorly trained physicians or hospital staff. However, there are some steps an expecting mother can also take to reduce a child’s risk of developing cerebral palsy. Limited alcohol consumption is not likely to cause cerebral palsy, but it still should be avoided. In fact, most toxins should be avoided during pregnancy, including alcohol, cigarette smoke, pesticides and poisons, and recreational drugs. Cigarette smoking can potentially lower the birth weight of a baby, which is another risk factor for cerebral palsy.
There are other seemingly harmless products one should avoid as well. They include:
- Cat litter
- Hair dye
- Cleaning solutions
- Garden products
Environmental agents that are outside of a mother’s control might also present risk factors to a baby, though such incidents are quite rare.
If you take any dietary supplements, use homeopathic treatments, or are using prescription drugs, you will need to review them with your doctor to ensure none of them pose a health risk to your baby.
Risk Factors Do Not Cause Cerebral Palsy
Risk factors can increase the risk of your child being born with cerebral palsy, but it is not the cause. Cause refers to an action that directly results in the development of this condition. Cerebral palsy is caused by brain malformation or a brain injury.
For example, premature birth is considered a significant risk factor, but prematurity cannot cause cerebral palsy on its own. Plenty of babies are born prematurely without sustaining any brain damage and are able to develop as any other non-premature child would. It is an overseeing doctor’s responsibility to be aware of this increased risk when delivering a premature baby in order to ensure the delivery is performed safely and without adding any further risks to child’s health.
Your doctor should always be aware of any risk factors that might jeopardize your child’s health and brain development, and act accordingly to minimize the dangers they might pose.
Ultimately, while drinking limited amounts of alcohol does not cause cerebral palsy in a child, it is still best to avoid it. Avoiding risk factors will lessen the likelihood of your baby developing not only cerebral palsy, but other developmental conditions associated with an exposure to toxins. Give your child the best chance in life and eliminate alcohol for the duration of your pregnancy.
Southfield Cerebral Palsy Attorneys
If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you understand how serious this condition is. Unfortunately, hospitals, doctors, and nurses never take responsibility when they are to blame. We trust healthcare providers with all that is precious to us and, when that trust is betrayed, they should be held accountable. The expert cerebral palsy birth trauma lawyers at Fieger Law are prepared to fight for you. We have won multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients, including the largest medical malpractice verdict in the nation. Choose a law firm that has the talent and resources to handle any case.
Call us today at (800) 294-6637 to get started.