Earlier research and studies have suggested that augmentation or induction during times of labor may result in causing autism in newborns. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has refuted these statements.
An earlier study carried out by Duke University in Durham had indicated that young mothers who underwent an induction to have their uterine contractions during labor were more likely to give birth to autistic children.
Other studies too were carried out on a large scale that revealed findings on similar subjects. Increased exposures to oxytocin hormones were seen to be a major factor for autism.
Oxytocin is administered during augmented or induced labors.
However, the new committee that was formed to carry out an accurate study found differing results. The committee states, “The earlier studies show inconsistent findings and data. Further, the studies fail to demonstrate causation.”
To further validate their findings, the team reviewed a series of other studies that were seen to analyze the link between autistic children and oxytocin hormones.
Further, the committee took the glaring limitations into consideration. For instance, some studies say they are smaller in size and have used retrospective data while failing to consider other influential factors.
The committee further highlights the inconsistencies in the data and insufficiency in the obtained evidence about labor augmentation or induction and suggest the outcomes of such studies should not influence necessary patient care.
The committee highlights its concerns due to such studies being published and says, “These characteristics end up reducing the study value while suggesting deeper research.”
To further explain with concrete evidence, the committee looked at the 2012 summary which involved nine different studies looking at links between autism and labor inductions. Of these, six studies had no association to the findings, while on the other hand, three studies were seen to have a weak link.
Nevertheless, one study was seen to have persistent associations due to combining other important factors during the course of the study.
The committee explained its stand based on the findings during the course of its study.
“The current evidence can in no way identify causal relationships between augmentations and labor inductions, either in general or oxytocin induction specifically.”
Dr. Jeffery adds, “Labour augmentation and induction plays a key role in the health of a mother whilst ensuring the delivery is safe and healthy.”
The doctor further highlights, “Due to a lack of these associations, current studies that are seen to suggest these links should in no way influence the ways obstetricians care for their patients and their new-born infants.”
The committee concludes saying, “There is always an importance to recognize the set of limitations that are in place during the study. Considering the conflicting data combined with other potential factors of limiting labor augmentation and induction, the committee recommends against any change in present guidance for methods of labor management.”