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Published On: Sun, Oct 12th, 2014

What every expectant mother must know

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By Doyin Ojosipe

If you are an expectant mother, you should be interested in how untreated vaginal infections and other diseases common with females could affect your unborn child for a life time.

Diseases such as bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections are some of the maternal infections which could affect the foetus’s brain during pregnancy.

According to a cerebral palsy lawyer Jene Reitter, a Urinary Tract Infection can either be a bladder infection or kidney infection. If a bladder or kidney infection goes untreated or is treated incorrectly, it can lead to a premature delivery.  She added that “pregnant women are at increased risk for UTIs starting in week 6 through week 24.”

Talking about bacterial vaginosis (BV), she explained that it is an infection of the vagina caused by bacteria, known as the most common infection especially at child bearing age.

 Women have therefore been warned to go for complete treatment before pregnancy and timely treatment during pregnancy as the infection could travel into the womb and infect the baby.

Many of the maternal infections have been linked to one of the possible causes of congenital cerebral palsy (CCP); a neurological disorder that indicates brain damage and consequently dis-coordination of the muscles, which in turn makes it difficult for the movement of the body

Experts said, “it is caused by abnormal development of the brain or damage to developing brain that affects a child’s ability to control his or her muscles.”

Though cerebral palsy is of different types, scientists revealed that while specific causes could not be ascertained for C.P, in many cases, about 80%-90% of the disorder is congenital.

Congenital cerebral palsy is a brain disorder which the foetus faces before birth and or during child birth.

According to American pregnancy association; cerebral palsy may be detected from the toddlers development (since it could be detected from the first month or early stage of the baby’s life at times between 2-3 years) especially when the baby only lifts  an arm; when the baby is having difficulties rolling over; sit crawl or walk.

Another way it could be diagnosed is by “evaluating how a baby or young child moves” incase the baby appears floppy or has increased or decreased muscle bone, which makes him appear stiff.

Although CP is said to be a lifetime illness, while it remains incurable, Researchers have reported that early detection and diagnosis of cerebral palsy in an affected infant could give the child an opportunity for quick treatment and adaptation which enables the child to overcome challenges of the brain disorder.

 According to a research fellow at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Ms. Cathy Morgan said, overall movement’s assessment could record huge success in early intervention.

 Treatments

The infant, once diagnosed, depending on the severity of the disorder could be placed on different therapies as part of the rehabilitation process.

In a publication by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS), cerebral palsy is certainly not curable but treatments could improve the child’s capabilities. The publication said C.P treatment is a combination of therapies done or embarked on after diagnosis of specific impediments.

 Such therapies include physical therapy, which takes off in the first few years of life and meant to maintain or improve muscle strength and balance.

Another is occupation therapy which helps with the upper body by improving the child’s posture by teaching him, new ways to do things and live a normal life.

Others are recreation therapy (which urges the child to participate in cultural programs) speech and language therapy; treatments for eating and drooling; drugs treatment too, such as oral medications.

Reports in the publication also revealed that severity of cerebral palsy might lead to different kinds of surgery as well.

Finally some other means of treatments are using assistive devices such as computers and picture books; complementary and or alternative therapies.

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