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Increased Incidence of Autism Linked to Drugs Used to Stimulate Contractions - Page 2

post #21 of 31

My son's mother was induced using labor inducing drugs, and he is in the process of being diagnosed with autism. He is displaying all the signs, although he is rather high functioning, he is still obviously having troubles.

post #22 of 31

Absolutely bang on with the issue of "causation versus correlation".  Although I am basing this only on the media article above (not the actual article, and therefore what I'm reading could be riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies), this smells of 'run with the autism scare' kind of news tactic.  I am all for a natural birth.  But I am also for clear, truth-seeking through science and through media.  I'm not feeling it here.

post #23 of 31

A further thought:  autism rates are increasing.  Induction rates are increasing.  Consumption of organic food is increasing.  When something is common, there will inevitably be a lot of things that could correlate with it.  It does not imply causation.  Further studies needed.

post #24 of 31
Originally Posted by DitaVonCrunch View Post

... but I can tell you that V was autistic in the WOMB. He used to repetitively paw at my bladder almost rhythmically and other "different" types of behaviors...

Not to negate your experiences, but this is not uncommon in babies in general. Not this specific behavior, but specific repetitive behaviors. Just putting it out there because pregnant women worry enough without thinking something pretty normal means their baby has autism smile.gif

As for this article, I say why not do more research. That's what's great about science. It's disprovable. Just because you love your Child on the spectrum as they are doesn't mean you can be interested in question of why he is on it. If there is no causal relationship in reality then science will move on.
post #25 of 31

I find this article interesting, just as I do all points of view on child development.  I am an early childhood educator for the last 25 years, and worked with special needs children for the 7 years prior, as well as working for many years one-on-one with autistic children.  I have wondered if the diagnoses of autism has increased, but not necessarily the condition.  There have always been children that ranged from "different" or "withdrawn" to what we would have at one time labeled as "retarded".  I am not condoning these labels, but I do wonder if perhaps as they have become socially unacceptable to use if the diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder has replaced them.  I know families that have older adults, that the family has always had to look after, that were labeled as "DD" or "retarded" as a child, and continue with that label.  But today, if they were children, I am most certain that they would receive a diagnoses of autism spectrum.  I worked with many children 30 years ago, none of which were diagnosed autistic. In fact, in my education 30+ years ago there was nothing related to autism, it just wasn't part of the labeling.  I have also worked with many children in the last 5 years that that were diagnosed with autism spectrum.  Their behaviors, and actually the way we work them, is very much the same. My ideas are all speculation, and things that I consider. Autism is very much a mystery to me, though many may say I am qualified to have an educated opinion.... I do not have one.  The diagnoses does not mean much to me.  It is the child, their uniqueness, their strengths and challenges that I relate to and work with - And, that is one thing that has not changed in 30 years.

=) With that said, I would encourage my pregnant daughter to try to avoid drugs to stimulate contractions... why rush it anyway. By the way, I used Pitocin with both of my children - 36 hrs and 72 hrs labor and both are healthy.  So, who knows. 

post #26 of 31

Hi ladies, I'm an RN and student nurse-midwife and thought I'd weigh in. Based on all of the research that has been done on autism this far, it's pretty clear that it's multifactorial - both genetic risk factors as well as environmental ones. This would explain why it has been so difficult to nail down a cause despite a lot of recent research. Therefore regardless of what the actual environmental triggers are, not all children would be susceptible, only certain ones with particular genetic traits. It's also believed that there may be multiple environmental triggers. Some of the environmental risk factors that have been proposed so far include: vaccine ingredients, endocrine disrupting chemicals, prenatal pollution exposures, vit. D deficiencies, among others. In my opinion none of these have been successfully ruled out (and yes, that includes vaccines). The vast majority of studies done on vaccine safety were funded and developed by the vaccine pharmaceutical companies. This is not objective science. But I digress...


The use of pitocin during birth has skyrocketed in the past 25+ years. The induction epidemic began in the 90's and has only increased since then, along with our c-section rates and maternal mortality rates. I noticed a few people commented on the fact that women who are induced are going to be more likely to be medically minded and therefore less likely to avoid mainstream chemicals. I agree that this is an interesting hypothesis and certainly correlation does NOT equal causation. However, I wanted to add that many women simply do not know that their provider may not be following evidence-based practice or that there are many instances when it is absolutely appropriate to refuse induction. Many women are bullied into it (over claims of dangers to the baby or an impossible vaginal delivery at a later date). It's not all women demanding convenience or comfort-based inductions.


Also, when you include women who are 'augmented' during labor (given pitocin to speed labor) the percentage of women who are receiving pitocin during labor becomes VERY high. I don't believe anyone has compiled any statistics on national pitocin usage but from my own research, many hospitals have 75% of their patients receiving IV pitocin. This is an unacceptably high number and absolutely not medically indicated. I found it interesting that the dramatic increase in autism rates align with the increase in pitocin rates  - both over the past 25 - 30 years. AND it has been determined that autism rate increases are not due to increased detection.


Michel Odent, MD, the natural birth advocate has also held the position for several years that pitocin very well may be the major cause for increased autism rates. While I'm not convinced (and certainly couldn't be from this study alone) that pitocin causes autism, I do think it gives us one more reason to discourage non-medically indicated pitocin inductions and augmentation.

post #27 of 31

I think this is an interesting subject and I would like to see more of the science behind it. I also think that we live in a chemical "soup" so it may be impossible to pin down exactly what causes Autism. Certain combinations of things may be to blame. Also add in electrical waves and Wi-Fi in the air to those chemicals. The way to decrease Autism may be to clean up our planet, our diet, etc. and then it still may take a few generations to see an improvement. When a woman is pregnant with a girl baby, that baby already has her eggs in her ovary, so what that pregnant woman is exposed to will effect her grandchildren. We are seeing this with DES a drug that my mothers generation sometimes took for morning sickness. It caused their children to have birth defects and now we are seeing it in their grandchildren too.

post #28 of 31

Very, very interesting article. I would like to add that hypothyroidism is on the rise, often due to Vitamin D deficiency (according to my endocrinologist). Thank you for linking!

post #29 of 31

Interesting article. Have had three births, first and last induced with Pitocin due to slow dilation - no contraction problems - second birth was traumatic, being told to "bear down" and baby hit a half-undilated cervix for an hour - he has a mental illness which could relate.


First born male has some autistic traits (so have in-laws family) - now considered sensory integration issues, social issues and giftedness. Had toxaemia and bed rest.


Last-born girl has no autism traits - an emergency induction with high BP after toxaemia. Bed rest in pregnancy.

post #30 of 31
I do think that there may be a relationship.....just as there is a relationship between C-sections and ASD diagnosis later; or Vitamin D deficiency in Mom during pregnancy and ASD dx later; and Folic Acid Consumption preventing ASD..... Pitocin particularly can cause hypoxia and distress in baby, which itself is a risk factor for not only autism, but a number of developmental issues. I also feel that ASDs do have a genetic component as well as an environmental component. The best autism researchers in the world seem to agree on this much. I guess my point is, if a Momma (AND HER CARE PROVIDER) have information about this risk for ASD -in addition to many other risks related to Induction/Pitocin use (which many Moms do not OR are bullied into non-evidenced based care) maybe some of these cases could be avoided? And to be clear, I'm not talking about not using inductions/pitocin/C sections when baby is at risk.....I'm just saying that everything around us (including Pitocin in delivery, the food we eat, where we live, what we choose to clean our toilets with) exposes our babies to all sorts of yucks that impact them and can potentially change the trajectory of their development.
post #31 of 31
It would be idealistic to think that the advantages of our modern medicine come completely without risks as well. Of course drugs have side effects, and of course chemicals have unhealthy components. It doesn't mean that moms are to blame for allowing them; we all make the best call we can at the time with the information we have. Which is why the research is important. I refused Pitocin but allow all sorts of other potential environmental triggers into my childrens' lives, so am always interested in what is being learned about them.

Purely anecdotally, of the several children on the Autism spectrum that I know well, all of their mothers had inductions, C-sections, or both, and 2 had IVF. This includes my aunt, who had IVF, (older parents), antidepressants during pregnancy, appx. 20 ultrasounds, a 3D 'entertainment' ultrasound, scheduled section at 36 weeks, and formula-fed her twins. They are both autistic. She is an educated and loving mother who just followed medical advice, but even she struggles with questioning if there are correlations. Or causations, I suppose.
Edited by myra1 - 8/20/13 at 2:35am
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