The cause of cerebral palsy (CP) sometimes isn’t known. But links have been identified between CP and certain conditions during pregnancy, birth, and early childhood. Some of these can be prevented. Some cannot.
Before and during pregnancy
Doing all you can before and during pregnancy can help lower the risk that a brain injury will occur in a developing baby. Here are some tips for healthy habits before and during pregnancy.
Eat nutritious foods.
Avoid exposure to harmful substances.
See your doctor regularly.
For babies and young children
Help prevent CP in your young child by minimizing your child’s risk for getting a brain injury.
Take steps to prevent accidents.
Make sure you are familiar with the signs of jaundice in newborns.
Know how to prevent lead poisoning.
Keep your child away from people who have serious contagious illnesses, such as meningitis.
Make sure your child’s immunizations are up-to-date. For more information, see the topic Immunizations.
If your child has not been diagnosed with CP, pay attention to whether your child is reaching early developmental milestones. Report anything you notice to your doctor at regularly scheduled well-child visits or anytime you have concerns.