Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s head is much smaller than expected. During pregnancy, a baby’s head grows because the baby’s brain grows. Microcephaly can occur because a baby’s brain has not developed properly during pregnancy or has stopped growing after birth, which results in a smaller head size.
What happens if a baby’s brain stops growing?
If your baby’s brain isn’t growing properly, they may have a condition known as microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition in which your baby’s head is smaller than those of other children of the same age and sex. This condition may be present when your baby is born.
What causes a baby’s brain not to grow?
Anencephaly is an example of a neural tube defect, a condition that results from an error in the first weeks of embryonic development. In anencephaly, the bones of the skull and brain do not develop properly. Babies with anencephaly are missing large areas of the brain and have an incomplete skull.
At what week is a baby’s brain fully developed?
Your baby’s brain development is a complex process that continues throughout your pregnancy. At just six weeks, the embryo’s brain and nervous system begin to develop, although the complex parts of the brain continue to grow and develop through the end of pregnancy, with development ending around the age of 25.
How do you know if your brain is underdeveloped?
What are the symptoms of congenital brain defects?
- cardiovascular disorders.
- gastrointestinal defects.
- cleft lip and palate.
- head pain.
- muscle weakness.
- reduced vision.
- bladder and bowel problems.
Can you tell if a fetus has brain damage?
The baby may exhibit tremors or muscle spasms, or even develop paralysis in certain parts of the body. Extreme fatigue can also be a sign of brain damage. As a baby grows, brain damage may cause difficulty with physical development. A baby may be slow to crawl, sit up, stand up, and walk.
How do unborn babies get brain damage?
During labor and delivery, certain complications and medical errors can lead to neonatal brain damage—most commonly, neonatal brain damage is caused by fetal oxygen deprivation or head trauma during delivery.