Drugs used to induce or stimulate labor contractions is associated with an increased risk of an autism diagnosis in the child. A study was published today in JAMA Pediatrics, showing the results of linking data from more than 650,000 births in North Carolina to later school records.
Lead researcher Simon Gregory was interviewed by Cleveland.com, where he discussed the results.
The study shows an increase in autism also occurring in girls born to mothers given labor stimulating medications, although the rate for boys is much higher. Researchers explain that more study is necessary to explain the association, including what underlying pregnancy and/or labor conditions might lead to the need to augment natural labor progression.
According to the National Institute of Health, the labor induction rate is at an all-time high in the United States, with over 20 percent of births induced.
What has your experience with labor induction drugs like Pitocin?