Preventing Autism during pregnancy? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 01-10-2009, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe the title doesn't sound quite right, but I was just wondering if anything that happens during pregnancy has been shown to have a link to Autism.

(ie. environment, foods, behaviors, etc.)

My guess is that there isn't, but I was just curious if any of you knew or had heard anything.


Thanks!
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#2 of 23 Old 01-10-2009, 04:11 PM
 
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I suspect delivery has more to do with it, particularly timing of cord cutting, early cord cutting is linked to iron deficiency in the first year, and iron is definitely involved in brain development. A link with c-sections has been suggested, but it's also been suggested that it may actually be entirely the cord cutting issue as these days, that is what happens at c-sections. I think your best thing is likely to be working on being in as good shape as possible for delivery - which means nutrition, exercise and mental preparation.

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#3 of 23 Old 01-10-2009, 05:29 PM
 
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See, and I would guess that exposure to chemicals and heavy metals would have more to do with it than cord blood -- my daughter had the cord wrapped around her neck and it had to be cut before she was fully born. She's not autistic in the least. She did have some issues with anemia but that was less about the cord blood and more because I was anemic for an extended portion of the pregnancy. But we were able to treat the anemia, and she was EBF, hasn't had vaccinations, and eats organic. She's extremely bright and has never shown any signs of autism or other spectrum disorder. (*Knock on wood*)

So while early cord cutting can happen, and emergency c-sections sometimes occur, I don't think either has as large an impact as some other ingestion of or exposure to chemicals during pregnancy. That's just me though -- there are so many potential contributors to autism, I'm not sure anyone will ever be able to pinpoint it. And it may be that no matter how diligent one is, having an autistic child is simply the way it's meant to be. I don't know. But I've known plenty of people who were very cautious in pregnancy and birth and their children had difficulties. So I'm hesitant to say YES this causes it and NO that doesn't, you know?

I'd say no vaccines during pregnancy (esp. since the flu vaccine for adults tends to contain heavy metal additives), and very limited exposure to chemicals, as well as mercury in fish, since heavy metal poisoning mimics autism in terms of similar symptoms, so one is oftentime diagnosed as the other, according to some of the vaccination books I've read. If you're worried about anemia and brain development, keep your own iron levels up in pregnancy and delay cord cutting. But anemia that's dealt with soon enough in an infant doesn't carry the same risk of developmental issues as if it were allowed to go unchecked.

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#4 of 23 Old 01-10-2009, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is definitively an interesting discussion. Thanks for the input so far ladies!
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#5 of 23 Old 01-10-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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I'd imagine that is a difficult thing to pinpoint most people don't get an autistic diagnosis for 1-2 years after the babe is born, then you are dealing with people's memories from 2-3 years off, YKWIM? Who knows there may be a valid link to something in pregnancy but by the time you get the diagnosis you probably can't remember half the things you did/ate/etc during your pregnancy. It's too bad cause that would be a very interesting thing to research.

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#6 of 23 Old 01-10-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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I would also think that heavy metals (like mercury) would play a part in it.

I've also heard there is a link between the shot they give you to stop pre-term labor (I forget the name of it) and autism.

Your best bet, I think, would be to avoid Vaxing your self and at least delay vax in your newborn, and stay away from fish that contain high mercury levels (like tuna).

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#7 of 23 Old 01-10-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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Personally I suspect it's genetics so there's not much you can do.

(We've joked about it with DH.. he's an Aspie and I'm a borderline Aspie... will the little ones inherit it from both of us or not? )
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#8 of 23 Old 01-10-2009, 07:40 PM
 
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Over in the vax forum someone was saying there might be a link between autism and ultrasounds. I don't know any thing about this myself but you might check it out.

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#9 of 23 Old 01-10-2009, 08:51 PM
 
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Personally I suspect it's genetics so there's not much you can do.
I think some autism is certainly just plain old genetics. My nephew is autistic, and after he got diagnosed, we realized that his dad is probably autistic - just never got diagnosed as a kid.
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#10 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 12:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by boscopup View Post
I think some autism is certainly just plain old genetics. My nephew is autistic, and after he got diagnosed, we realized that his dad is probably autistic - just never got diagnosed as a kid.
I think genetics probably plays a big part as well.

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#11 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 01:06 AM
 
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The causes of autism is a highly controversial and debated topic right now...

Research suggests that there is a genetic factor and an environmental factor, which doesn't tell us much of anything

I've personally heard that forceps and vacuum assisted delivery (and any other trauma to the head during the first year) are seen more commonly in ASD, Dyslexic and ADD/ADHD populations than in NT's.

I'd take everything you hear with a grain of salt though and try not to worry too much
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#12 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 01:46 AM
 
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(We've joked about it with DH.. he's an Aspie and I'm a borderline Aspie... will the little ones inherit it from both of us or not? )
My whole family's pretty much on the spectrum. My sister jokes that she wouldn't know what to do with a neurotypical kid, and says "maybe I should vax them just to make sure!" Which led to an interesting discussion... if you did mention to a mainstream doc that you were vaxing "to make sure she turns out autistic", what do you think would happen? Would the doc deny any connection between autism and vaxes, or call CPS? My family has odd discussions sometimes.

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#13 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 02:30 AM
 
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I had read an article that talked about gut flora and prevalence of autism but, I didn't really get far into the topic although, I would like to look into it more.

This link might be interesting to some. Search Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and you'll find a lot of info.

The link with autism and vaxs is fuzzy. There is much debate about it even amongst those who think vaxs are linked to autism. The article I read discussed it and it was very interesting.

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#14 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Karamom View Post
Over in the vax forum someone was saying there might be a link between autism and ultrasounds. I don't know any thing about this myself but you might check it out.
This has been pretty much denied by Autism Speaks research last I read but there is definitely some interesting research on this possible connection- however if you do research this keep in mind that most of the articles are written by the same woman with a very anti-u/s agenda and that the major research that has been done on it shows that if you expose rats to high-level u/s's for very extended periods of time throughout their gestational period they are more likely to display behaviors linked to developmental disabilities. I terrified myself with this research in the beginning as I have had a few u/s's with this pregnancy and suddenly felt like a bad mom but the more I looked into it the more I realized that the takeaway from this was don't get unnecessary ultrasounds, especially not the 3d/4d elective u/s done retail for your own pleasure. Other than that though the link isn't strong enough to be anywhere near conclusive. And when humans get u/s done they aren't usually done for several hours at a time at high levels repeatedly over the entire course of gestation. Certainly though it is a topic worth researching and coming to your own decision on at u/s carry with them other dangers too.

Good luck

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#15 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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I had read an article that talked about gut flora and prevalence of autism but, I didn't really get far into the topic although, I would like to look into it more.

This link might be interesting to some. Search Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and you'll find a lot of info.

The link with autism and vaxs is fuzzy. There is much debate about it even amongst those who think vaxs are linked to autism. The article I read discussed it and it was very interesting.
I've seen that video series, it's fascinating. What I'd love to read more on and have never seen is a discussion on the genetic component where babies are adopted at birth. I think we tend to blend the idea that something is genetic with the fact that we learn our eating habits from our families. I certainly think someone can inherit a predisposition towards having a certain kind of gut, but then again, if so much of what is inherited is an effect of epigenetics rather than straightforward gene inheritance...

But yeah. I personally believe that the expression of autism spectrum disorders is a result of what's going on in the gut.

All that to say, I think prenatal diet and mom's own gut flora, plus things that affect baby's gut sterility such as vaginal vs. c/s birth, bf or ff, whether or not baby is in the hospital nursery, antibiotics in labor and childhood... I think all that is a major, maybe THE contributor to an individuals ability to handle environmental contaminants and vaccines.

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And when humans get u/s done they aren't usually done for several hours at a time at high levels repeatedly over the entire course of gestation.
No, however, many moms get 30 seconds of Doppler at every visit. Because dopplers don't pulse the way visual ultrasound machines do, they're very concentrated doses of exposure and actually worse than getting elective ultrasounds if I understand correctly. Visual u/s pulse at a rate of 1/200 of a second. Dopplers are constant. This is the math I was shown in my Bradley class, someone jump in if I have it wrong here:

It follows then that 1 second of doppler provides the same length of exposure as 200 seconds of visual u/s. If you use a doppler for 30 sec that's equal to a 6000 sec ultrasound or the same as you'd get from a 1h40m scan. And people do that at every visit.

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#16 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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it's clear that there are not nailed down, "this causes autism" black and white causes for autism. Don't stress yourself out about what you can and can't do. The last thing you want to do is worry (or send other mommas who may have had a cord cut soon, or a c-section, or a flu vax, or ate a tuna sandwich, or had a traumatic event happen while pregnant, and on and on and on worry about whether or not their child is going to end up autistic). Right now, there just aren't handles on it.

personally, I think genetics plays a huge role, and perhaps an genetic inclination can be triggered by something environmental, but what that is, is so not clear.

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#17 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 08:36 PM
 
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I think genetics does play a role but there has to be something external that is triggering so many modern cases. They say the number of kids on the autism spectrum is now 1 in 67. A couple of decades ago it was 1 in several thousand.

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#18 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dazedstella View Post
This has been pretty much denied by Autism Speaks research
Good luck
Autism speaks is definitely not a good source of information on autism. I don't even want to get in details about them because I can really get carried away.

Anyhow, I am pretty sure that the only thing my mother could have done to prevent having an autistic child is to not have sex with an autistic man. And do not tell me that it is a matter of my gut being treated the same way my dad's gut has been since his alimentation and other environmental conditions as a child were completely different than mine.

And, as far as the 1 in 67, 1 in 150, etc stats go, that can easily be explained by the changing diagnostic criteria as well as much more awareness. My father was not diagnosed as a child so he did not count in his generations stats just like most other autistic children back then.

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#19 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 10:50 PM
 
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Age of the father is closer associated with autism. New research.
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#20 of 23 Old 01-11-2009, 11:11 PM
 
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Autism speaks is definitely not a good source of information on autism. I don't even want to get in details about them because I can really get carried away.

Anyhow, I am pretty sure that the only thing my mother could have done to prevent having an autistic child is to not have sex with an autistic man. And do not tell me that it is a matter of my gut being treated the same way my dad's gut has been since his alimentation and other environmental conditions as a child were completely different than mine.

And, as far as the 1 in 67, 1 in 150, etc stats go, that can easily be explained by the changing diagnostic criteria as well as much more awareness. My father was not diagnosed as a child so he did not count in his generations stats just like most other autistic children back then.

This sums up my personal belief re: autism nicely. Obviously others feel differently though.
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#21 of 23 Old 01-12-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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Age of the father is closer associated with autism. New research.
So my dh was too old? Too young? Is that it? Cuz last I checked 24 yrs old wasn't an unheard of age to have kids.

In our case, genetics and environmental factors (vax) played a part in our oldest being dx'd w/ Asperger's syndrome.

I have no idea what plays a part in my situation. Dad was 26 when I was born.

I think the age thing and microwaves and wifi all being pointed to as a cause is a crock of crap.

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#22 of 23 Old 01-12-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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There's such a sound of incredulity on this thread. If we generally accept that cancer has both a genetic foundation and hundreds, if not thousands of environmental factors, why is it so hard to believe the same for Autism?

Why is everyone dismissing ideas as if only one, obvious factor causes Autism? Should we be looking for a neon sign hanging over it?

As with just about every disorder, disease or deveopmental disability, you have an underlying genetic predisposition, you are exposed to something to trigger it and then you have the symptoms of a diagnosable issue. And usually, you can't pinpoint the exact factor b/c there were so many variables.


Think of several factors which have risen along with Autism and try to avoid them. That's all you can do.

-C-sections
-Early cord cutting
-Folic acid deficiency
-Premature delivery
-Vit D deficiency
-Vaccinations during pregnancy
-Additional vaccinations during infancy
-Increased contaminants in tap water

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#23 of 23 Old 01-12-2009, 03:03 PM
 
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I read about trying to link autism with Moms that get the rhogam shot during pregnancy.
I think if you need the rhogam shot, wait until after delivery. It *might* be a trigger??
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