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The nature of the sperm, or seed, and womb could also lead to a disabled child.  Ancient authors believed condition like the strength, age, and vitality of the sperm influenced the child.  Outside forces, such as the wind and water, also played an important role.9   Interestingly, they also mentioned alcohol use by the wet-nurse as a factor.

Although the appearance of a child with abnormalities certainly shocked ancient families, they did not usually attribute the deformity to the child.  Instead, the actions and behaviors of the parents were punished with their childís physical appearance.  The Babylonian Talmud states that conception after the fatherís long journey, trip to the restroom, or bloodletting would lead to weak children.10  Likewise, the Bible warns against intercourse during a womanís menstruation period.11  This taboo act would be punished by a disabled child.