Which Factors Affects A Child’s Intelligence During Pregnancy?

Child's Intelligence During Pregnancy

Intelligence is the usual cognitive capacity to solve problems and comprises many mental abilities like perceiving relationships, reasoning, analogies, arithmetic, and the fastest learning. It is a power to obtain and apply knowledge and talents.

Many elements can affect the intelligence of the child. But genetics plays an effective role in deciding a child’s brilliance. Prenatal and early Postnatal factors influence the development of the child’s intelligence.

The fetus and newborns can be aware of many types of exogenous influences that are possibly harmful to the brain during the time that brain development is most rapid. The exogenous influence involves Maternal factors, Environmental toxins, Infections, Trauma, etc.

The major categories include the Introduction of neurotoxins into the body, withholding of vital nutrition, Disruptions of the mechanism of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange, and Genetics.


Prenatal Factors

The prenatal stage is a very critical duration in human growth. During this period, the fertilized egg takes shape the form of a human being, and it is a time of the development of the major organs and brain. If anything goes wrong during this critical period, the effects are approximately irreversible or very problematic to correct.

  • Undernourished Mother: A Malnutrition mother is unable to give proper nutrition to her growing baby. Due to this health issue with the mother, the baby’s weight can be too much less, and the baby can also be unable to fight the diseases. Insufficiency of nutrition may effects intelligence and neural growth.
  • Mother with Stress: Maternal stress can affect a Newborn’s behavior, involving irritation and difficulties with eating and sleeping. When a mother undergoes high levels of stress during the pregnancy period, it can affect the growing fetus through many mechanisms.
  • Illness of Mother: Maternal diseases like syphilis, AIDS, rubella, diabetes, high blood pressure (BP), and mellitus (DM) can permanently affect the baby’s health. These cases can affect the growth of the baby’s brain and cause poor physical growth. So, these maternal diseases may affect the baby’s intellectual development.
  • Drugs, smoking, and alcohol: Taking Drugs during pregnancy can have effects on the unborn baby. Repeated doses of synthetic glucocorticoids, like Dexamethasone and betamethasone, may also have affected the baby’s development. Consumption of alcohol may lead to many birth defects like growth deficiencies, physical abnormalities, and central nervous system impairments.
  • Complications During Baby’s Birth: If the baby suffers from complications during birth as lack of oxygen, it may cause permanent brain damage. The baby can be born with mental disorders. 


Postnatal Factors

  • APGAR score: < 7 may reduce intelligence in later life.
  • The low birth weight baby (LBW) or SGA baby may have low intelligence and lower IQ. 
  • Lack of required macronutrients (Iron, Zinc, Folate, Iodine, B12, and protein deficiency) in newborns’ early life causes low intelligence.


Environmental Factors

  • Prenatal and early nutrition plays an essential role in the brain development and intelligence of a child. Premature newborns are at a higher risk of undergoing lower IQ scores and brain size loss. Giving a high-nutrition diet to infants can assist in reducing the loss of brain size and improve their cognitive results.
  • All the mother’s IQ is linked with her babies, whether a child was breastfed or not. 
  • The link between Breastfeeding and IQ leads to increased IQ in Children. Although, some genetic factors may affect this association.
  • Children of upper socio-economic society come in contact with more intellectual stimulation, acquire better social opportunities and get better nutrition. All of these take them to intellectual development in a positive direction. The index of socioeconomic status (SES) depends on Parental Education, Occupation, and income.

Conclusion: Confirming a healthy atmosphere is necessary for the complete growth of a child’s intellectual capabilities.