A study was released this week reiterating the dangers of drinking alcohol while pregnant and identifying the end of the first trimester as the most dangerous time for a pregnant woman to consume alcohol.
The end of the first trimester appears to be the period when alcohol can wreak the most havoc on fetal development, causing physical deformities as well as behavioral and cognitive symptoms, according to research in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
Despite the clear evidence that consuming alcohol can cause great harm to a developing fetus, alcohol still poses a serious danger, particularly when a woman does not know that she is pregnant:
While the data reinforce current guidelines that expectant moms avoid alcohol, it’s particularly difficult for those in the first days of pregnancy, especially since 50% of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. That means most women may not even become aware they are pregnant until the middle or end of the first trimester.
Despite these dangers, expectant mothers drink and smoke far less frequently than they did twenty or thirty years ago, which causes me to wonder:
Has the extreme reduction of alcohol and nicotine consumption during pregnancy caused children born today to be more intelligent than the children born thirty or more years ago?
Wouldn’t it stand to reason that a generation of human beings whose mothers routinely smoked and drank during pregnancy would be less intelligent in comparison to a generation of children whose mothers reduced and/or refrained from these cognitively debilitating behaviors altogether?
All other things being equal, is it reasonable to assume that my daughter’s IQ is likely higher than that of her parents, grandparents and great grandparents?
I think so.
I realize that if this is true, there is not much use for this information other than to gloat, but in my experience, gloating can be quite fun.
It can also lend credence to the desire to ignore the wisdom of your elders. If you parents or grandparents were bathed in an amniotic slosh of whiskey and beer and nicotine during their most critical periods of their development, who are they to tell us that we need long term care insurance or should consider purchasing a more practical automobile?
Compared to the children born in the last twenty years, they aren’t even functioning on the same cognitive cognitive level.
At least that would be the argument I would make.