Becoming pregnant when you have CP (and the risk of inheritance)

The one thing I have always wanted above everything else is to be a mum. My fiancé and I are planning our first pregnancy after our wedding in 2016. He wants three children. I just want the experience of a happy, healthy pregnancy and the happy, healthy baby at the end of it.

But, as my CP seems to have changed with age (I'm 24) I'm getting more and more worried about what pregnancy will be like for me. I'm in more pain in more places and feeling tighter, more tired and falling more.

Everything out there on the internet always seems to be geared towards what happens if the baby has CP. This is something that terrifies me all on its own... I know CP isn't hereditary in itself but aren't I more likely to have an awkward labour and distress baby? I am terrified of "pre-disposing" my baby to CP also.

I don't even know if it will be possible to carry a baby and then there's the terror of each fall, because there's nothing to stop those happening unless I just never leave the house. I'm worried the weight of a bump will bring me forward (my pelvis is already set forward due to CP) and we'll both be in more danger.

And birth - with my pelvis will it even be possible to give birth naturally?

I know that this is a lot of questions for something that hasn't even happened yet, but there's nothing I want more from my life than to see through a healthy pregnancy and I don't want to wait until there's a baby on the way to find out that I just can't cope with pregnancy, because that would break my heart.

I want to know that it is possible for those of us with CP to carry babies safely in all senses of the word before I can even think of doing it. These are my hugest concerns with this condition.

7 Replies

  • I'll do some research and get back to you.

  • A response from the. Royal College of Midwives :

    I am afraid that I cannot off you any specific advice about you and pregnancy as each pregnancy is different and how it impacts on you with CP can be so variable.

    A pregnancy will impact on you as with all women around physical changes in pregnancy and if you currently have mobility challenges a growing fetus can add to that. As far as a normal birth, this will very much depend on any pelvic contracture. As you know CP isn’t hereditary although there is a link with difficult labours and births, this is something that you will discuss with the team looking after you when you become pregnant and if there is a clear risk to you or the baby through labour and birth they may will discuss the need for a caesarean birth, this will all be discussed with you as the pregnancy progresses. It is important that you raise your concerns with the obstetrician and midwife who oversee your care. It may be possible to speak to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist about falling and mobility issues – again your GP and maternity team can advise. Remember that the fetus is very well protected in the uterus, so although a worry it may not be as big a problem as you are imagining now.

    It is really great that you are planning ahead and the most appropriate starting point for advice is your GP who will know you best. If necessary your GP can refer you to speak to a consultant about your individual needs. The practice nurse and possibly the midwife at your surgery can advise on the more general preconception advice around diet lifestyle etc.

    Below is the link to the Disabled parenting network and there may be other parents who can offer much more practical advice and reassurance.

    I am sorry I cannot offer you anything more specific.

    I hope the wedding goes well

    Gail Johnson

    Professional Adviser of Education

    Royal College of Midwives

  • Thank you so much for doing that, that's so kind and nice to know there are people able to formulate an answer... I really appreciate it.

  • That's OK. That's what this forum is for. I emailed the RCM and they were very quick to reply.

    Please feel free to blog and ask questions and I will do my best to help or signpost you in the right direction.


  • April89, that was a brilliant question which will one day be my question too. Rachael that's great you took a chance and emailed and got a reply from a professional. Brillaint reply, all the best April89. xx

  • Also see :

    Not sure if it adds anything but came across it.

  • Hi my name is Nichole I live in Walnutport PA I have Cerebral Palsy and I have it mild on the left side of my body and severe on my right side. I walk with a limp on the right side. I had two hip surgeries as a child and one heel cord surgery at 3 years old. I gave birth to my daughter Zoe in 2005 and I was 26 years old at the time. She was 9 pounds 3/4 ounces. I had her by C-section because I wouldn't dilate pass 8 centimeters and I was in labor for 26 hours. When I was 7 months pregnant with Zoe my heart was beating very fast at 134 beats per minute at rest, but fast heart rates run in my family. After I gave birth to Zoe I had to go on heart medication to slow my heart rate down. I've been on heart medication ever since. My family doctor took me of the birth control pill 5 years ago because I developed high blood pressure and you can't be on estrogen when you have high blood pressure. It can cause you to have a stoke or heart attack. I'm now 36 years old and I discovered I was pregnant on June 23rd, 2014. This pregnancy is an Oops pregnancy. So I'm now pregnant with second child at 36 years old with Cerebral Palsy, high blood pressure and a fast heart rate. I'm once again a high risk pregnancy because of my blood pressure and fast heart rate. I must take blood pressure medication throughout my whole pregnancy. I'm currently 8 weeks pregnant and everything is going fine. My blood pressure is very good and the baby's heart rate is 165 beats per minute at rest which they said is perfect. As for my nine year old daughter Zoe she is a very healthy child and she has an IQ of 132 and is a straight A student. She has never got a B yet on a report card yet and she is going to the 4th grade. She is in the gifted program in her school. I had very bad lower back pain in my back before I was pregnant but now it went away now that I'm pregnant. My daughter Zoe doesn't have Cerebral Palsy it isn't genetic.