Latest Autism Research Will Have Pregnant Women Breathing Easier

pregnant woman talking to doctorFrom the minute they find out they're pregnant, women are inundated with a laundry list of warnings about potential hazards and dangers that could befall them or their baby. Among them now more than ever: A trillion red flags related to what we're doing or might accidentally do to cause kids' autism, from taking antidepressants to having kids at "advanced maternal and paternal age." Needless to say, having to juggle and weigh out all the potential culprits can be terribly stressful! Thankfully, a new statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) should put our minds at ease about at least one thing!

In the new issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the ACOG notes that there is no connection between inducing labor in childbirth and autism.


They note that although some studies have suggested there may be a link between autism and the use of oxytocin to induce or speed up labor, the research has significant limitations, according to the ACOG's committee. They point out that the studies were small, inconsistent, and retrospective, so "limited comparison groups meant certain factors might not have been accounted for."

In other words, we simply do not know enough. There's simply not enough evidence to support a connection. Thus, the ACOG feels there's no need to change the existing guidelines on when and how labor should be induced or accelerated. Especially when "induction and augmentation play an essential role in protecting the health of some mothers and in promoting safe delivery of many babies," noted Dr. Jeffrey Ecker, committee chair, in the news release.

Hopefully, this news allows many moms-to-be to wipe their brows and exhale. Because while researchers should continue to investigate the possible cause(s) of autism, being able to cross this off the list of potential evils should come as a great relief!

What's your reaction to the gynecologists' statement?


Image via Army Medicine/Flickr

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