Cerebral Palsy Risk Factors

Some events or medical problems during pregnancy can increase the risk of congenital cerebral palsy. There are cerebral palsy risk factors include:

  • Low birth weight or preterm birth. Infants born preterm (defined as before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and infants who weigh less than 5.5 pounds at birth are at greater risk of cerebral palsy than are early term (defined as 37 weeks to 38 weeks of pregnancy) and full-term (defined as 39 weeks to 40 weeks of pregnancy) infants and those who are heavier at birth. The earlier the birth and the lower the infant’s birthweight, the greater the risk. Low birth weight is common risk factor of CP


  • Multiple gestations. Twins, triplets, and other multiple births are at higher risk factor of cerebral palsy. The risk is also greater for an infant whose twin or triplet dies before or shortly after birth.
  • Fever during pregnancy. Sometimes fever in the mother during pregnancy or delivery can lead to brain damage in the fetus, resulting in cerebral palsy. High fever during pregnancy is a risk factor of CP

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