The benefits or disadvantages of natural childbirth over induced does not really come within Foodsmatter’s remit but I was so shocked by these two studies, highlit by Natural News, that I wanted to give them a wider airing.
My first shock was the discovery that around 25% of all labours are induced in the US – what happened to allowing the baby to emerge when it was ready? – and, of course, induction involves drugs.
In 2011 the Journal of Attention Disorder published a study from Northcentral University in Arizona showing that there was a ‘strong predictive relationship between perinatal Pitocin (a dug commonly used for induction) and subsequent childhood ADHD onset’.
And now JAMA has published another study from Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina that suggests that:
‘Compared with children born to mothers who received neither labor induction nor augmentation (increasing strength of of contractions with drugs), children born to mothers who were induced and augmented, induced only, or augmented only experienced increased odds of autism after controlling for potential confounders related to socioeconomic status, maternal health, pregnancy-related events and conditions, and birth year. The observed associations between labor induction/augmentation were particularly pronounced in male children.’
Given that, according to this study, the incidence of autistic spectrum disorders has now risen to 1 in 88 in the US, surely this should be a wake-up call both to parents and to physicians. ‘Inducing’ a child to be born to suit its mother’s or its physician’s diary is only acceptable if there is no risk to the child – but this does not appear to be the case.