Increased Incidence of Autism Linked to Drugs Used to Stimulate Contractions - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.  

 

 

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The findings suggest that among boys, labor that was both induced and augmented was associated with a 35 percent higher risk of autism, compared with non-induced and unassisted labor. The researchers' analysis accounted for established maternal and pregnancy-related risk factors, such as maternal age and pregnancy complications.

 

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? 

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#2 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 07:45 AM
 
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I don't buy this one bit, & I am a NCB type! I finally get to whip out 'correlation is not causation'. I believe women choosing inductions are more likely to choose all sorts of interventions for their children & less likely to practice avoidance of mainstream chemicals (household, body care, etc) . . . I feel like blaming autism on 8-12 hours really is just back to blame the mother.
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#3 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 07:46 AM
 
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My NANA was induced with Pitocin & she is nearing 90. Pitocin is not a new drug, by any means.
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#4 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 08:10 AM
 
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My labor was induced with pitocin due to having gestational diabetes. I am not overweight and never have been, but it runs in my family. I have always stayed away from chemicals, and did not have any kind of pain medication during my labor (even though the pain was excruciating back labor for 12 hours) because I didn't want anything to affect my baby. My daughter has been diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum. I find the comment of dinahx to be quite offensive and I would like to know more about this study. 

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#5 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 08:20 AM
 
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I think the posts could have been more respectful, but I don't think they were offensive.  The assumption that those who choose pitocin also use other chemicals in their life is simply off-- I chose pitocin to augment my first labor because I made the wrong choices, not because I had no problem with chemicals in general.  

 

Anyway, now I've commented I need to read the article :)

 

ETA:  The cleveland.com article did sum up that more research is needed to explore why--including that there might be other factors.  

 

I don't know how long I was on pitocin for, but my labor ended with a c-section (yeah, yeah....) at 44 hours, not 8-12.


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#6 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 08:53 AM
 
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Sorry, I just find the parade new articles/studies finding some way to blame mothers & children (vs. industry) for the epidemic increase in autism totally wearing. Seems nothing is off limits but injected metals & viruses . . .

Old mothers, old fathers, anti-depressants, induced labor, IVF, genetics, etc . . . Just seems to me to be a strategy of 'throw anything but the kitchen sink up as a smoke screen' . . .

I will say that IF mother's receiving inductions are more likely to choose other modern interventions it doesn't mean that any individual woman in that group would be more likely to, just overall.
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#7 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 09:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dinahx View Post

I don't buy this one bit, & I am a NCB type! I finally get to whip out 'correlation is not causation'. I believe women choosing inductions are more likely to choose all sorts of interventions for their children & less likely to practice avoidance of mainstream chemicals (household, body care, etc) . . . I feel like blaming autism on 8-12 hours really is just back to blame the mother.

 

I'm with you on the argument that it's unfair to blame mothers for autism because of medical decisions that they made while pregnant, for likely very good reasons... but then you turn around and blame mothers for autism if they cleaned with Windex, or whatever, and I completely fall off the train.  Autism is a very complex, multi-factorial condition, with both genetic and environmental components.  Mothers cannot possibly cause or prevent it.

 

I think the JAMA article is just incredibly vague - and the "drugs used to induce contractions linked to autism" is not what I got at all.  We're seeing a correlation between induction of labor and risk of autism, but we don't know the cause.  There are all kinds of reasons we induce labor, surely it is possible that somewhere in there is a factor that increases risk of autism.  If that's the case, it's not the induction that led to the autism, it's whatever the underlying condition was.

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#8 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 09:05 AM
 
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What you miss is that I would blame not mamas, but Windex & the WalMart that sold it, as well as the advertiser that convinced mamas it was desirable. And Windex really minimizes the issue, it is way more about 409, Triclosan, RoundUp, Clorox, Drano, etc. Not that household chemicals are the entire issue: our toxic society is . . . But to say that it isn't about 'Windex'
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#9 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 09:12 AM
 
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My oldest was induced, and has suffered from behavioral/attention issues which only began to improve as she entered her mid-teens. I'm not sure what caused her issues, and I have never sought a diagnosis (though pushed to do so over the years by her teachers and counselors), but I'm intrigued by the findings here and interested in hearing more.

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#10 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 10:45 AM
 
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Induction isn't necessarily even pharmaceutical, dinahx. Foley bulbs are popular, so is artificial rupture of membranes. And some inductions use only cervical ripeners like misoprostol or dinoprostone. Some inductions use only pit. Others use miso, foley bulb, AND pit. Factors at play could include reasons the women were induced, method of induction, gestational age at induction...

And I agree, your post is just a variant of blaming the mother, either that or implying these chemical-sucking women are just stupid and can't help being taken in by Monsanto et al (unlike yourself).

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#11 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 10:58 AM
 
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I didn't say I am unaffected by M*ns*nto et al, gosh they spray chemicals from planes near my son's school. But by all means, let's focus on a MDC poster who is attempting to turn the focus on industry & continue to get excited about another inconclusive study blaming maternal/paternal choices/factors for the Autism Spectrum Disorder explosion.

I just read an interesting article yesterday about Tocacco's influence in the early development of genetic research. Seems they were trying to find a *cause* for lung cancer. Or should I say, obscure a cause?

I do contend & will continue to contend that Marketing is a science, that degrees are awarded in Marketing & Advertising & that the billion dollar advertising industry cannot be said to NOT influence everyone's choices. It can & does, that is why it is a billion dollar industry.
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#12 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 11:00 AM
 
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I would really rethink the statement 'Foley Bulbs are popular'. I have known a few women to use them, but they have all been NCB radicals who had to request it specifically from a pre-screened provider. The vast majority of US inductions are accomplished with Pit and/or Miso . . .
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#13 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 12:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinahx View Post

I didn't say I am unaffected by M*ns*nto et al, gosh they spray chemicals from planes near my son's school. But by all means, let's focus on a MDC poster who is attempting to turn the focus on industry & continue to get excited about another inconclusive study blaming maternal/paternal choices/factors for the Autism Spectrum Disorder explosion.

I just read an interesting article yesterday about Tocacco's influence in the early development of genetic research. Seems they were trying to find a *cause* for lung cancer. Or should I say, obscure a cause?

I do contend & will continue to contend that Marketing is a science, that degrees are awarded in Marketing & Advertising & that the billion dollar advertising industry cannot be said to NOT influence everyone's choices. It can & does, that is why it is a billion dollar industry.

This always irritates me, too.  

 

I can't parse out how much is industry and how much is people not thinking about it or simply not agreeing.  I know many intelligent people who choose not to forgo chemicals.  And sources like Discover magazine et al. are filled will people like that who still side with the industries despite what I feel is compelling evidence.  Which is industry marketing, and which is simple opinion on what construes compelling evidence for individuals to make a choice?  I am both frustrated by it, and understand it at the same time.  I don't understand what creates concern enough in people to cause a reaction (similar to our recent near-cultural aversion to whale hunts) and what doesn't.

 

I do wish more people would think like I do, and I am baffled at why the obvious (to me) doesn't cause the entire foundation of the chemical industry as we know it to falter.  Alas.....


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#14 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 04:26 PM
 
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130813111730.htm

 

This came out today too: Thyroid disorders & autism . . .

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#15 of 31 Old 08-13-2013, 08:17 PM
 
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I used Pitocin with both of my children, my water would break but labor would never start so Pitocin was the best option at the time. I also ate a lot of tuna during pregnancy, not knowing it had the highest mercury content of all fish and that mercury can cause brain damage in unborn children. Or so they say. My son is on the low spectrum of autism I used Pitocin for 17 hours with him. I used Pitocin for 9 hrs with my daughter and she is fine. I don't worry anymore about placing blame, there are too many studies and too many articles trying to figure out what causes autism. I feel like the reality is that I will probably never know exactly what caused it because there are so many thing that COULD have caused it, and it doesn't matter to me anyway. I have the most wonderful, amazing children and I wouldn't want to change a thing about either of them!
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#16 of 31 Old 08-14-2013, 12:19 PM
 
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I'd also be interested in comparison data for deliveries that were not augmented with Pitocin but in which Pit was used following delivery to stimulate uterine contractions (which is standard practice). I did not have Pitocin to induce any of my labors, but I received it following delivery in all three cases due to excessive bleeding (but it's standard even with normal bleeding from what I understand). I'd be curious to know if the hypothesized relationship is just due to direct exposure while in utero and/or "indirect" exposure through breast milk.
 


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#17 of 31 Old 08-14-2013, 12:38 PM
 
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Let me preface this by saying that I have been burned with the scarlet letter A for autism. Both my sons have it. I'm not completely on board with this article. I'm sure there is some correlation which I always suspected, 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. Do I think getting inductions are good for us? No, unless absolutely medically necessary. I was augmented both times, but I know that had nothing to do with the way V acted in utero. It very well may have exacerbated his predisposition. We're still missing some key pieces to the puzzle.  Vaccines aren't the key either. A has never been vaccinated, but do I think vaccines play a role in exacerbating symptoms? Yes. I'm afraid to give A any or continue with V's. Obviously, there is a genetic component, but is this an epigenome thing and can it be altered for the better? I'm starting to feel like the "world" only wants to produce perfect people. Do we all need to be fixed? Are we all broken?

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#18 of 31 Old 08-14-2013, 12:40 PM
 
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My third labor was induced with Pitocin after my water broke and labor did not start naturally after 24 hours. The Pitocin was administered for a total of four hours, and I experienced my most painful labor, but it was fairly quick. My daughter is now 22 years old, married and a college graduate. No health issues other than chronic ear infections, despite exclusive breastfeeding.

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I'm a big supporter of all things natural. I take care of myself, I exercise, eat healthy and my weight is healthy. Had my first child in a hospital, unmedicated and it turned out to be a smooth and positive experience. Planned the same for my second but things went differently. My water broke first, we waited, contractions never came, despite having taken castor oil per suggestion from my doula. While in hospital finally agreed to be induced. We began at the lowest dosage of Pitocin. At level 3 of Pitocin, contractions came fairly quickly and it was smooth sailing after that, albeit painful. I hated having extra tubes sticking out of my arm, not what I planned, but have not had any side effects from it...yet. Baby is two months old and is very healthy. Don't know what else I could have done to prevent being induced. 

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#20 of 31 Old 08-14-2013, 12:56 PM
 
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Dinahx- Exactly.

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#21 of 31 Old 08-14-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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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.

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#22 of 31 Old 08-14-2013, 04:32 PM
 
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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.

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#23 of 31 Old 08-14-2013, 04:34 PM
 
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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.

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#24 of 31 Old 08-14-2013, 04:47 PM
 
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... 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.

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#25 of 31 Old 08-14-2013, 05:47 PM
 
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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. 

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#26 of 31 Old 08-14-2013, 06:23 PM
 
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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.

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#27 of 31 Old 08-15-2013, 04:53 AM
 
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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.

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#28 of 31 Old 08-15-2013, 08:08 AM
 
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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!

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#29 of 31 Old 08-15-2013, 07:19 PM
 
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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.

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#30 of 31 Old 08-19-2013, 04:59 PM
 
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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.
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