There are many causes of cerebral palsy that can include:
Hemorrhage: A hemorrhage or bleeding in a specific area of the brain is a common cause with preterm children who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Infection: Infections can be passed from mother to child in the womb. For example, German measles or rubella is a more commonly known virus that can be passed by the mother to the infant and that can cause serious brain damage.
Environmental Factors: Environmental factors mean that the mother can be affected by something she has eaten or drank, or she has breathed in dangerous poisons from the air. This, in turn, can be passed on to the unborn child before birth. Toxoplasmosis is an infection that can be caused by eating raw or undercooked meat, from cats or from contact with certain contaminated soil. Then, the infection is passed on to the unborn child. Radiation received by the mother can also have a negative effect on the unborn baby.
Heredity: In a small number of cases, there has been theories about cerebral palsy running through the family.
Perinatal Causes (at or around the time of birth: 28 weeks of pregnancy to around one month after birth)
Some perinatal causes can be a lack of oxygen where there are difficulties at birth such as the umbilical cord being wrapped around the child’s neck, the mother suffering from a hemorrhage before the baby has been born, or severe contractions that can cause the oxygen supply to the placenta to be reduced.
Postnatal Causes (in the first five years of life)
Head Injury: Head injuries that have occurred during the first five years of life can cause cerebral palsy.
Infection: Infections such as meningitis contracted in the early stages of life can cause a child to be diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Lack Of Oxygen: Cerebral palsy can be caused by a child being deprived of oxygen for a certain period of time due to an accident or choking during the first five years of life.
Source: “Understanding Cerebral Palsy: A Guide For Parents And Professionals,” by Marion Stanton