Skip to main content

Cerebral palsy is caused by a problem with the brain that occurs before, during or soon after birth.

It can be the result of the brain either being damaged or not developing normally, although the exact cause isn't always clear.

Problems before birth

Cerebral palsy is most often due to a problem that affects the development of a baby's brain while it's growing in the womb.

These include:

Problems during or after birth

Cerebral palsy is also sometimes caused by damage to a baby's brain during or shortly after birth.

For example, it can be due to:

Increased risk

There are some things that can increase a baby's risk of being born with cerebral palsy.

These include:

Your doctor may recommend that your baby has regular check-ups to look for symptoms of cerebral palsy for the first two years of their life if there's an increased risk they could have cerebral palsy.