Have you ever wondered why CAHS´Kids Count Data Book includes information on low birth weight babies? As you probably know, this is an indicator of the health of the mother during pregnancy, and has a strong effect on child development.
How strong? The New York Times published on Sunday a review of a new study linking birth weight and school achievement, and the results are striking. On average a 10 pound baby will score 80 points higher on the 1,600 point SAT than a 6 pound one. This is the difference between being quite a bit below the median (6-pound babies score in the 43rd percentile) or above it (10-pound babies score on average in the 57th).
Poor neonatal health, then, is crucial not just during pregnancy, but has long term cognitive effects. You can find the full study here.