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

The brain can either being damaged or not develop normally, although the exact cause is not always clear.

Problems before birth

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

For example, it can be due to:

Increased risk

Some things can increase a baby's risk of being born with cerebral palsy including:

Your doctor may recommend your baby has regular check-ups to look for symptoms of cerebral palsy during the first 2 years of their life if they have an increased risk of developing the condition.