The use of Pitocin is linked to Autism? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 04-07-2007, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just read this article in New Yorks Naturally magazine and it stated the following:

"....Today's obstetrical practices, notably Pitocin and Epidural can result in compression in the baby's skull. This occurs because the drugs interfere with the rhythm of birth, which is based on the relationship between expansion and contraction of the plates of the baby's skull and the expansion and contraction in the mother's pelvis to enable the baby to pass thru the birth canal. With the mother's rhythm altered by the drugs, the baby's head is subjected to enormous pressure during birth, which can result in cranial compression. This in turn can put pressure on the brain and cranial nerves, among other effects. Again, the developing nervous system is compromised. One doctor likens birth under these conditions to using the babie's head as battering ram, the the Pitocin speeding up the birth rhythm. His clinical analysis of his autistic patients revealed that in 60% of the cases Pitocin was used during birth".

: :

How stupid I was that I went with being induced. My son is 22 months old. He had always been challenging in terms of his temperament. His gets nervous a lot and was a nightmare to nurse. Though he has not been diagnosed with Autism and doesn't show any apparent signs of it, the lingering fear of this disease is in me. I wonder if this forced labor had anything to do with the fact that he does get stressed and nervous.
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#2 of 16 Old 04-07-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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I have never read that anywhere but I personally have always felt that and feel strongly about never using pit again, in fact I had a repeat c/s to avoid pit with DD. I had many many many hours of Pit with DS1 and while he isnt autistic, he is most definitely on teh spectrum. I strongly feel that his birth had something to do with it. You have to wonder. Everyone getting induced all the time... rate of autism is going up...

FWIW DS1's occupational therapist also thinks so.
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#3 of 16 Old 04-07-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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I was just researching this a bit. There are so many theories relating to autism. This is just another. Not condoning overuse of pit, don't get me wrong but geez.

I have heard the pit/autism link before but not due to the squeezing of baby's head.

I don't think they really have any clue what causes autism personally. Just my opinion. Don't flame me.
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#4 of 16 Old 04-07-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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Seriously, I think a lot of things can cause autism, and pitocin may very well be simply a coincidence for those who get it and end up with autistic children. What is it, about 80% of hospital birthing moms get pit these days? If it was linked to pitocin, I think many more children would be at risk.

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#5 of 16 Old 04-07-2007, 02:57 PM
 
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Yeah, I'm not that impressed by the figure given. 60% of autistic kids had pit used in their births? Seems more a larger percentage of births than that use pitocin.

And fwiw, in my completely unmedicated homebirth, DD's malpositionaing caused a long labor and weird stuff with her head. Some unusual molding (sp?), but also disruptions that required cranial-sacral therapy before she was able to nurse effectively. It's too early to tell but she seems totally fine and is very outgoing and is very communicative for a 10 month old.

Fetal skulls are made to take a beating in birthing. I'm no fan of pitocin, but I think this is barking up the wrong tree, or at least just one the trees in a huge forest of contributing factors.
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#6 of 16 Old 04-07-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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Coorelation doesn't equal causation.

That said, I was induced with my first and wondered the same thing, if being forced out of the womb made her a colicky baby and high needs toddler. I read that some doctors theorize that a colicky baby is actually having a hard time adjusting to life outside of the womb. But then I wasn't induced with my second and he is the same way. Go figure.
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#7 of 16 Old 04-07-2007, 08:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FreeThinkinMama View Post
Coorelation doesn't equal causation.
:
Need more info...

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#8 of 16 Old 04-09-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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This is an article I've had bookmarked for a while regarding Pit and Autism. I know, for me, it was just one more reason to be wary of artificially induced labor. (Not really thee deciding reason, obviously. Just another push in the direction to do as much as I could to be as natural and drug free as possible.)
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#9 of 16 Old 04-09-2007, 03:23 AM
 
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Even if it's not the cause, it obviously is not good to have unnatural super strong squeezing contractions pushing on your baby for hours on end. Pitocin is NOT the same as oxytocin. I regret the birth my son had to go through. I will definitely be avoiding pitocin with any future births.

Just read the article in the post above. Pitocin= Cow pituitary glands and preservatives. Just what I wanted running through my veins. I actually said I didn't want it with my first birth but they gave it to me without my knowledge and permission anyway. Ugh.

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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#10 of 16 Old 04-09-2007, 05:24 AM
 
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Oh, these days everything causes autism. There are so many possible environmental triggers. If one has the genetic predisposition, anything could cause it.

Not saying pitocin is good. I definitely think it causes newborn jaundice. But yeah...the whole x causes autism thing is getting a bit old.
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#11 of 16 Old 04-09-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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I had an oxytocin-induced labour, it was 54 hours long, an IFM was used, AROM, epidural, and brief use of a vacuum. My son is INCREDIBLY laidback! Well, now that he's a toddler, he's a typical toddler (lol), but all in all, he's been pretty "easy".

I agree with PPs that the fact that 60 % of children with autism had pit-induced birth isn't surprising at all....in fact, it seems a bit LOWER than the general population, which would actually indicate a DECREASE in the incidence of autism when pitocin is used! (ridiculous, obviously, but so is saying that pit is CAUSING it).

I am MUCH more convinced about the theory that autism is a neurological disorder caused by an autoimmune disease, triggered by environmental factors. I believe these triggers involve the immune system.

I could TOTALLY see that a traumatic birth could potentially cause some brain damage, which COULD produce autistic-like symptoms. But, there is a risk of brain damage in ALL births, it's just less without interventions.

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#12 of 16 Old 04-09-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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This is very close to my heart as my close rlf's son has been recently diagnosed with Autism.

Although my instinct is that pit is terrible stuff and it wouldn't surprise me at all if there WAS a link, my first thought was that since waaaay more births than 60% are augmented with Pit, I don't see how this indicates anything? I don't advocate for pit - never mind what it DOES but I find it really gross - I'm not a vegetarian or anything but I have a serious ick factor with the idea of being injected with animal hormones!

But this has the ring of "'junk science" - just because 60% of the studied children have this in common doesn't make it a cause or even a factor of a cause considering that only a small percentage of children are autistic. I'd be more interested if they compared this to results from a group on non-pitocin-augmented-labour children and see if the % of autistic kids was different for that group - now THAT might be considered evidence. Better yet - compare it to c/s kids, who didn't get squeezed at all, if they're so sure the squeezing is the problem. But without a 2 different control groups, one with augmented labours and the other without, this doesn't mean a darn thing. And I don't think they should be publicly pretending there's a link on this basis - it's irresponsible on the part of the scientists, who know perfectly well what you can and can't consider to be "real evidence". All it does is gets people worked up and upset, regretting their birth choices and feeling even more responsible for their child's disorder than they already do.
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#13 of 16 Old 04-09-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifescholar View Post

I agree with PPs that the fact that 60 % of children with autism had pit-induced birth isn't surprising at all....in fact, it seems a bit LOWER than the general population, which would actually indicate a DECREASE in the incidence of autism when pitocin is used!

I am MUCH more convinced about the theory that autism is a neurological disorder caused by an autoimmune disease, triggered by environmental factors.
I agree. If anything, this article is "saying" that pitocin is preventing autism! (Which is obviously crazy and untrue.) I am definitely not a fan of routine pit use, but I'm not seeing an autism link here.
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#14 of 16 Old 04-09-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AugustLia23 View Post
What is it, about 80% of hospital birthing moms get pit these days? If it was linked to pitocin, I think many more children would be at risk.
Yeah. It's kind of like saying, "Oxygen breathing linked to autism."
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#15 of 16 Old 04-09-2007, 09:17 PM
 
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According to one study, oxygen IS linked to childhood leukemia. (I think it has since proved to be a pretty poor quality study but hey, if it gets some press....)

I'm really not trying to be light about autism here but if TV, terbutaline, Vaccinations, food allergies, pre-natal aspartame exposure, pre-natal alcohol exposure blah blah blah have all been linked to autism, Pitocin is just going to have to get in line and wait for the link to be proven/disproven with all the other theories.
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#16 of 16 Old 04-09-2007, 09:20 PM
 
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60% of autistic kids had labors induced/augmented with pit? What was the rate for neurotypical kids? I'd be willing to guess it's extremely similar.

I never had pit during my pregnancy and non-labor, so how would they explain my ASD son?

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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