Scientists Discover Children’s Math Skills Developed While in the Womb

International   |   Rebecca Downs   |   Sep 29, 2014   |   5:20PM   |   Washington, DC

A recent article from The Daily Mail reveals scientists have discovered a child’s math skills are developed while still in the womb.

From the article:

Thyroxine, which passes from mother to baby in the womb, is crucial for the development of the brain – but many expectant mothers have too little of it.

Researcher Martijn Finken studied almost 1,200 children from when they were in the womb until they started school.

ultrasound4d16He measured their mothers’ thyroxine levels 12 weeks into pregnancy and compared the results with the children’s scores in arithmetic and language tests at age five.

Those who were exposed to the lowest levels of thyroxine in the womb were 90 per cent more likely to end up in the bottom half of the class for maths.

span id=”ext-gen101″>This was true even after taking into account the child’s family background and health at birth.

Our maths ability, on the other hand, can be traced more directly back to brain development.

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Dr. Finken’s solution is to test women’s hormones and to give thryoxine supplements to those who may have deficiencies. The key would be to do so early, and the researcher believes that the reason why such similar efforts have not worked in the past is because tablets of thryoxine were not given early enough.

The problem has to do with mothers not having enough having a properly varied diet, with a deficiency in iodine being the main issue. Young girls, who may be putting their future children at risk, the article warns, are also not drinking enough milk.

The Daily Mail also points to how the unborn child is not able to produce his or her own thryoxine, and so is “dependent on the mother’s supply…”

>While the article mostly approaches the issue by looking into the consequences of poor diet and deficiencies, it is also pointed out how much a mother does for her unborn child.

It is also amazing to realize that what goes on in the womb affects children once they have been born. The 9 months a child spends in her mother’s womb matter and are critically important! A woman who may not have enough thryoxine may have a baby who will be bad at math, but such can be corrected, and naturally at that. Regardless, it can be quite fascinating to see what goes on before we are born play out in our lives.