The Way You Gave Birth Not Linked to Autism After All

baby mom

With 1 in every 68 kids being diagnosed with autism today, it's understandable that moms are worried that something they're doing -- or did -- puts their kids at risk. Well, here's one thing that women need not fear for this reason: A study has debunked the long-believed link between C-sections and autism.


Researchers at the Irish Center for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research examined data on nearly 2.7 million children born in Sweden in the past three decades -- the largest sample size ever exploring this issue.

Granted, when just comparing babies to babies, children born by elective C-section were 21 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism later on. Which sounds bad ... but then the researchers honed in on 13,400 pairs of siblings where one had autism and one did not. When comparing how they'd been birthed, they found that the cesarean/autism link did not hold up.

More from The Stir: How Savvy Are You About C-Sections? (TRIVIA)

So what does this mean? It means that C-section doesn't cause autism, but it could be a symptom of an underlying problem that could lead to autism later on.

"There is no causal association," the study concluded. "It is more likely that birth by [C-section] is related to some unknown genetic or environmental factor that leads to increased risk of both [C-section] and ASD."

As a mom who had a C-section, it's nice to hear that this procedure isn't the culprit behind this developmental disorder. Hopefully it will help many moms breathe a little easier!

What are your biggest worries about C-sections?


Image via Oldrich/shutterstock

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