August 12th, 2013
10:10 PM ET

Autism and childbirth: A Link?

A new study published in the JAMA Pediatrics suggests autism might be linked to inducing or speeding up labor.  The findings have many expecting moms concerned, but the study comes with caveats. Anderson spoke with chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

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Filed under: Autism • Dr. Sanjay Gupta
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  1. June Kryk


    Yes, I am yelling. I HATE these types of stories because the media in general does such a poor job of explaining what "linked" means in this kind of setting. It does NOT mean that inducing labor causes autism. It means that when you go back and look at all the factors, more children diagnosed with autism were induced during labor.. It may be there was an underlying condition that required induction that caused the autism or it may have been a statistical fluke and the two don't have anything to do with each other, but what is going to happen is all those women who were induced during labor and have children with autism are going to be racked with guilt that it is their 'fault' and that is just not true. Worse, there may be serious damage done to babies who need to be delivered by induction but their mothers hill refuse due to misunderstanding what this study means. The media needs to do a better job in explaining what 'linked' really means.

    August 14, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  2. Renata Senatore

    I meant to say "Right now he is border line PDD and Autistic". I have never consider him being an autistic but I know that his delay is due to early delivery – induced and augmented labor.

    August 12, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • kaitch

      Wish I could watch this from my phone. I hope it mentions that this is a flawed study with a misleading title, and that there was a stronger link between mom having a college education and her child having autism than between induction or augmentation of labor and autism.
      @Renata, I'm sorry to hear you weren't happy about the circumstances of your labor, but this study does nothing to confirm the feelings you have about the cause of your son's developmental difficulties. I hope you are both able to access the support you deserve.

      August 13, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  3. Renata Senatore

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Finally someone is talking about and induced and augmented labor in relation to autism!!! I am a mother of a 4 and a half year old boy who was delivered by inducing my labor despite my wishes! Right now is is border line PDD and Autistic. I've done soo much for my boy! Yes there is a need for more research! Please contact me for more information.

    August 12, 2013 at 11:30 pm |

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