Sometimes, a newborn baby may have a neurological or brain disorder. Premature babies (born before 37 weeks’ gestation) are especially at risk. Neurological problems can happen because of birth trauma or a difficult delivery. They can also happen when the baby takes in too little oxygen during the birth process.
The most common types of neurological problems in newborn babies include:
Intraventricular hemorrhage. This is bleeding inside or around the ventricles. The ventricles are the spaces in the brain that contain the cerebrospinal fluid. This problem is more common in premature babies.
Periventricular leukomalacia. This is damage and softening of the white matter. The white matter is the inner part of the brain that sends information between the nerve cells and the spinal cord. This problem is also more common in premature babies.
Neurological disorders may be serious. Severe bleeding or tissue damage in the brain can destroy brain cells. This can cause long-term illness for the baby.