Spending a week longer in the womb may give babies a better cognitive ability, but also slightly increase their risk of having a physical disability, a new study has claimed.
Researchers found that babies born at late term -41 weeks’ gestation -are slightly more likely to be classified as gifted and have higher standardised test scores than babies born at full term, or at 40 weeks’ gestation. However, babies born at 41 weeks also showed a slightly higher chance of having a physical disability than babies born at 40 weeks, researchers said.
“What our findings suggest is that while 40 weeks remains the safest time for most babies to be delivered, in uncomplicated pregnancies, going another week seems to have beneficial effects on later performance in school,” said Jeffrey Roth from University of Florida in the US. Children born at the 41st week were found to score somewhat better on tests given at third through eighth grade.