Although pregnancy is a wholesome experience, it is challenging if women ignore medical care. Getting regular prenatal checkups improves the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and a baby.
Lack of prenatal care results in preventable mistakes that impact the newborn, like abnormal brain development, leading to neurological disorders like Cerebral Palsy.
It is the most common neurological disorder affecting a child’s coordination and movement.
Some of the risk factors of CP include low birth weight, especially those weighing less than 3 pounds, lack of oxygen supply to the brain during delivery, and abnormal delivery position.
These risk factors increase the likelihood of cerebral palsy in newborns, making it necessary for mothers to take necessary precautions to reduce potential brain damage.
Signs or symptoms of cerebral palsy appear during infancy or preschool years. Some signs to watch out for include exaggerated reflexes reduced range of motion in joints, involuntary movements, and difficulty swallowing.
Multiple factors like bacterial infections, pre-existing medical conditions, and smoking contribute to the risk of developing cerebral palsy.
To ensure a healthy pregnancy, mothers must avoid risk factors, including smoking and alcohol, and stay updated with prenatal appointments.
Cerebral palsy, in some circumstances, is also the result of a physician’s negligence which puts a financial strain on parents making it difficult to look after a disabled child.
However, filing Lawsuits for Cerebral Palsy does provide financial compensation to oversee the treatment.
Though cerebral palsy is irreversible, a few tips on managing the symptoms make parents and the childless life difficult. Some of these tips include.
Educating the Family
Undoubtedly, raising a child with cerebral palsy does present a unique set of challenges for the entire family.
This statement is backed up by a study that concludes a household with a special needs child is prone to depression and anxiety.
However, it does not mean that there is no possibility of living a somewhat normal life while looking after a child with a neurological disorder.
The first step usually begins with educating not only a single individual but the entire household about cerebral palsy and the plan of care.
Embracing life with cerebral palsy requires planning, organization, and adaptation which is only achieved if every family member knows what they are dealing with.
Research is the key to getting as much information about CP to make looking after children less of a challenge.
Also, when the whole family is involved, the circumstances become less stressful. One of the ways to educate every family member is to break down the information.
Do not Avoid therapy
Though cerebral palsy is a lifelong disability, there are ways to reduce symptoms’ severity, including finding physical, occupational, speech, and alternative types of therapies immediately.
One of the common symptoms a child with CP starts developing early on is either increased or decreased muscle tension.
Enrolling your child immediately in a therapy program helps control disrupted muscle movement and improves functionality and life quality.
Implementing therapies as a part of an early intervention program prevents the risk of developing other associative conditions.
The type of therapy implemented depends on the child’s plan of care established by the multidisciplinary team of practitioners. Irrespective of that, in the end, it is ensuring that the interventions applied help reduce the severity of symptoms.
Therapy is not only limited to the child’s benefit; parents or caregivers can also learn a thing or two. For instance, behavioral therapy teaches a parent to reinforce the child’s progress during treatment at home positively.
Focus on Self-Care
It is the circle of life that parents always prioritize their children over everything from their well-being and happiness to health.
However, it does not mean that parents are not entitled to a break or self-care, especially when they have to look after someone whose life isn’t normal like others.
As a parent, what happens is that you forget about yourself amidst taking care of your child who is solely dependent on you, leading to burnout and increased risk of developing mental illnesses. It is important to remind yourself to indulge in self-care from time to time to relieve stress.
Self-care is essential, including taking a day off, reading your favorite book, exercising, or talking to a professional. Self-care is about taking a breather and doing things that excite and de-stress you.
It is essential to remember that just because your loved one is getting the care they require, your well-being as a parent or a caregiver isn’t as significant as theirs.
Encourage Active Lifestyle
Children with cerebral palsy are not as active as their peers; however, they can still have an active lifestyle.
Encouraging children with cerebral palsy to participate in different activities keeps them active and improves their movement. Lack of mobility impairs the child’s functionality and decreases the range of motion in various joints.
Although activities recommended by a specialist might be challenging at first, participating in those activities improves range of motion and mobility.
Creative activities like painting and drawing are excellent for strengthening fine motor skills, including performing tasks with accuracy and precision.
Participating in adaptive sports like wheelchair basketball and rugby is a great way to instill teamwork and leadership qualities in children with cerebral palsy.
It is challenging to perform tasks for children with cerebral palsy due to poor cognitive skills. However, playing boarding games that encourage children to think and strategize significantly enhances cognitive function.
Children with Cerebral Palsy often experience growth deficiency due to swallowing and digestive problems.
It eventually makes them prone to weaker bones, making it necessary to pay close attention to their diet, strengthening their bones and muscles.
Besides strong bones, a good nutritious diet improves immunity, cognition, and circulation.
To ensure the individual with CP is receiving a well-balanced diet, be sure to serve them calcium-rich foods that include milk, yogurt, cheese, and calcium-supplemented juices.
Adding Vitamin-D-rich foods to the diet helps the body absorb calcium which is crucial for strengthening bones.
Nutrition therapy is a part of the treatment because children with cerebral palsy often have feeding and digestive difficulties.
A specialized diet or nutritional counseling teaches parents to overcome feeding and digestion problems.
The nutritional needs of the children with cerebral palsy are often not met due to associative conditions. A nutritional therapist evaluates, organizes, and implements specific diet plans and educates parents to fulfill the child’s dietary needs.
Cerebral palsy is a common neurological disorder found in children which often results from brain damage before birth. It impacts an individual’s muscle tone and movement, rendering them incapable of performing activities of daily living.
Although looking after a child with cerebral palsy is challenging, learning how to manage a child with a neurological disorder makes it less stressful.
Educating the entire family to implement various interventions helps a disabled child become a member and contribute to society.