When a baby has suffered a brain injury during the birthing process, the injury can lead to many questions for parents. For parents who have children who fail to meet certain neonatal milestones, the questions can become pronounced. All of this is totally understandable, especially when trying to understand the challenges the child may face. If parents suspect a serious brain injury, the signs of cerebral palsy in a baby may creep into their mind.


Although the focus of this Maryland birth injury educational article is to discuss the signs of cerebral palsy in a baby from a medical legal standpoint, you, the reader, must understand that only a medical doctor can properly diagnose this condition. With that said, at the end of this article, and supporting video, you should have a better understanding of the possible signs of cerebral palsy in babies and a cause of the medical condition.




There can be many causes of cerebral palsy, which is essentially a movement disorder. However, for this article I would like to focus on a lack of oxygen during a vaginal delivery. We often see mothers who have a pretty uneventful pregnancy. They take the time to follow all their doctor’s advice and go out of their way to not engage in behavior that might hurt their baby.


A baby that is no longer tolerating a vaginal delivery needs help. Therefore, it is important for doctors and nurses to pay close attention to the tools which help them detect fetal distress (baby no longer tolerating the vaginal delivery). One tool that is used is the electronic fetal heart monitor.


The fetal heart monitor looks at the baby’s heart rate, among other things during delivery. A normal baby’s heart rate will fall between 120-150 beats per minute. A heart rate too high, or too low for a considerable amount of time can spell problems for the baby. In addition, variability, and the acceleration/deceleration pattern also play an important role in the baby’s wellbeing, along with the presence of meconium (the baby’s stool).


If doctors and nurses fail to properly identify and treat fetal distress, the baby can suffer a brain injury due to a lack of blood and oxygen getting to the brain and develop a subsequent cerebral palsy diagnosis. Doctors have to be ready to move to a C-section when warranted or risk the baby suffering a serious injury.




Although a doctor must diagnose cerebral palsy in a baby, parents can be on the lookout for certain things in their baby. Some of the possible signs of cerebral palsy in a baby are the following:


  • Not Able To Hold Up The Head: Parents can see this when the baby is laying either on their stomach or the baby is being held in a sitting/support type posture.
  • Low Or Poor Muscle Tone: The baby may feel “floppy” when picked up or moved around.
  • Feeding Difficulties: These types of difficulties can be displayed by the baby not wanting to eat at all. In addition, the baby may display an aversion to anything placed in their mouth.
  • Swallowing Difficulties


Other possible signs of cerebral palsy in a baby are failure to meet certain neonatal milestones and a history of seizures.




If your baby has suffered a brain injury at birth and you have been given a cerebral palsy diagnosis and you think that this is due to the doctors and nurses not properly diagnosing and treating your baby’s fetal distress, this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and give me a call.


I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer Maryland birth injury and medical malpractice questions just like yours all the time and I will be happy to listen to your story.


Marcus B. Boston, Esq.

Boston Law Group, LLC

2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700

Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815



1-833-4 BABY HELP


Marcus Boston is a Maryland medical malpractice attorney who helps people navigate the Maryland childbirth injury and medical malpractice process to get money for their injuries caused by the carelessness of doctors and hospitals. BLG handles cases in Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, Montgomery County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, and all other Maryland Counties. blgesq.com