Information and support in one place.

Perinatal Asphyxia is when a new-born has been deprived of oxygen during the birth process. It could be caused by inadequate oxygen levels to the baby before, during or after delivery. Perinatal Asphyxia results in physical harm to the baby and can cause developmental problems including cognitive and gross motor functioning, seizure disorders and cerebral palsy.

Some of the causes of decreased oxygen before or during the birth process may include:

  • Inadequate oxygen levels in the mother’s blood
  • Low blood pressure in the mother
  • Inadequate relaxation of the uterus during labour that prevents oxygen circulation to the placenta
  • Early separation of the placenta from the uterus, called placental abruption
  • Compression of the umbilical cord that decreases blood flow
  • Poor placenta function

Factors that may lower oxygen in the baby after birth include:

  • Severe anaemia
  • Low blood pressure or shock
  • Respiratory problems that limit oxygen intake
  • Heart or lung disease
  • Low oxygen levels may decrease a baby’s heart rate, blood pressure and blood flow out of the heart. This may limit the blood flow to organs and tissues, leading to improper cell function or damage. Organs typically affected by lowered oxygen include the brain, heart and blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract, lungs and kidneys.

Support organisations and charities

Cerebral Palsy Cymru is a national centre of excellence and charity for families in Wales with children who have cerebral palsy. Our specialist team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists work together to offer transdisciplinary skills, so each child, benefits from their combined expertise. Our family support service offers a listening ear, advice and support. We share our knowledge and skills through collaborative working, course, national and international conferences.

Our primary focus is our early intervention service ‘Better Start, Better Future’, for babies who have, or are at risk of having cerebral palsy. Our approach to early intervention is parent/carer-led, individualised, and holistic. It places families at the centre of their child’s care, recognising their expertise with their baby.  

Research shows that the brain is at its most plastic and adaptable during the first 2 years of life. Therefore, this is an important window of opportunity for families and their infants at high risk of cerebral palsy for specialist intervention. Future outcomes for babies are maximised when intervention begins as early as possible and considers the whole family.

The main aim of our intervention is to promote the baby’s own activity and participation, supporting them to reach their full potential not just in terms of their mobility, but also early learning and communication.

Support organisations and charities

Based in Wales.

Some babies can experience profound and severe consequences following a birth injury. Sadly for some, this may mean they will have short lives.

If you have been told that your baby is unlikely to live into adulthood, we understand the deep sense of grief and uncertainty that this will bring.
Tŷ Hafan provides essential support to help you navigate this uncertainty and distress. You do not have to go through this journey alone.

We can provide you and your family with practical and emotional support whenever you need it and for however long you need it, including a wide range of therapies designed to enhance your child’s wellbeing. Our focus is always on what your child can do, rather than what they are unable to do, to help you make the most out of the precious time you have together.

If your baby or child becomes seriously unwell, we may be able to offer a tranquil place of care for you all. We have a Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist who can guide you through our services and identify how we can best support you.

Related support.

View all advice

Cerebral palsy and birth asphyxia

Cerebral palsy is a term used to refer to a set of neurological conditions (conditions that affect the brain and nervous system).

Brain damage

Brain damage can be caused by a birth injury to the baby’s head during labour, an infection, lack of oxygen to the foetus and jaundice.

Maternal mental health

Many women will seek help for their child who might have suffered an injury but often forget the importance of their own mental health.

Legal advice.

The birth of a child should be a time of happiness, excitement and celebration. Sadly, when negligent mistakes are made by medical professionals the result is pain, heartache and frustration for parents and the wider family.

If you believe that you have a birth injury negligence claim in relation to any wrong or mistreatment you received during birth, then please contact a member of our medical negligence specialist team today. We are dedicated to your best interests and can advise you on how to proceed. If after talking to us you decide not to take matters further you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged for our initial advice session.

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