by James M. Kushiner
The cover of the October 4, 2010 issue of Time caught my eye a couple of days ago at the Atlanta airport–not the picture but the text: How the first nine months shape the rest of your life.
Excuse me, “the rest of your life”? Since when did Time view your life as including the 9 months in the womb? So that’s you there in the first trimester? That was your life?
Sometimes headline writers bend a story a bit and don’t write lines that are meant to be taken too literally. I know, for I write enough of them myself. So on to the inside text of the article, where influences such as genes, DNA, childhood expereinces and lifestyle choices are cited as typical explanations for our conditions in life.
But there’s another powerful source of influence you may not have considered: your life as a fetus. The kind and quantity of nutrition you received in the womb; the pollutants, drugs and infections you were exposed to during gestation; your mother’s health, stress level and state of mind while she was pregnant with you–all these factors shaped you as a baby and a child and continue to affect you to this day.
This is the provocative contention of a field known as fetal origins, whose pioneers assert that the nine months of gestation constitute the most consequential period of our lives….. (emphasis mine)
Sometimes we know not what we speak, or just can’t help it.