Could C-Sections Cause Autism?

pregnant woman laying on sofaAt a time when more than 30 percent of all births are by C-section, we've got more bad news for moms. Another study is putting this method of delivery in question. New research, published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, shows that babies born via c-section are more likely to develop autism.

In fact, when the researchers looked at autism and C-section rates in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Sweden, they determined that women who deliver through C-section are 23 percent more likely to have a child with autism (and possibly ADHD).


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The study looked at over 25 other studies published in varying journals through February 2014 and compiled all the data on autism, ADHD, and c-sections. The numbers? Straightforward. But the connection? Not so much.

So before you go about rearranging your entire birth plan, know that even the study authors recognize that the link is very "unclear" and say the entire conclusion "warrants further investigation."

On top of that, the researchers weren't able to narrow down just exactly what it is about surgical deliveries that can ultimately lead to increased risk for autism. So while it seems like the spike in risk can be found through the study, there needs to be much more work completed before moms start changing their birthing plans.

What do you make of this study?


Image © Sara Wight/Corbis

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