We examined the effects of maternal lidocaine hydrochloride anesthesia on the brain-stem auditory evoked responses (BAERs) in neonates born by cesarean delivery. Sixteen term neonates were enrolled in the study. Eight neonates were delivered by cesarean section following lidocaine anesthesia, and eight were delivered by spontaneous vaginal delivery without maternal anesthesia. A BAER was obtained on all of the neonates on the first day of life. A significant delay was noted in the central neural component of the BAER at 90 dB. The wave I through V interpeak latency for both ears was noted to be 5.3 ms for the neonates exposed to lidocaine and 4.9 ms for the controls.