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View Full Version : Is this true re: homebirth and autism?


petuniajo
08-04-2010, 04:29 PM
My doula (we keep in touch even though DD is 16 months old now!) told me that no child who was home birthed has ever developed autism. I'm skeptical of how anyone could possibly know that... I mean, I would probably believe that avoiding drugs with birth might DECREASE the chance of autism, but how could it possibly be known that NO child has ever developed autism after being home birthed?

ETA: She is a fairly new doula (we were her last couple as a student before she was certified) and this was something she just said to me as we were corresponding about the benefits of natural births. I told her I didn't believe that was an accurate statement, as I now heard of people who did not fit with it. She was embarassed for making a global blanket statement about it and forwarded me the article from which she was thinking:

From: a letter from The American College of Domicallary Midwives/California CollegeOf Midwives (http://www.autismtoday.com/articles/ATTN_Researchers.htm)
Existing data on babies born at home under the care of midwives as a control group in Autism research

For research purposes it seems only logical to utilize the subset of healthy childbearing women who received physiological management of the intrapartum and experienced no medical treatments during the labor and birth (i.e. - no Pitocin or other labor-inducing drugs, no narcotic pain medications, no general or regional anesthetics and no operative deliveries, etc) as a control to determine if intrapartum medical treatments are causative or contributory to the development or exacerbating of autism disorders. In the early 1990s the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) embarked on a retrospective statistical study of domiciliary birth outcomes. More recently they have been conducting a prospective study by enrolling nationally certified professional midwives as a requirement of their re-certification. To date they have compiled statistics on about 15,000 births. This would provide the demographic data for follow-up questionares to ascertain the rate of autism within this substantial group of babies who were unmedicated during the labor. Also a recent change in the California birth registration law authorizes for the first time since 1915 the filing of birth certificates by professional midwives providing community-based birth services (client home and free-standing birth centers) so that the gathering of statistical data in California on this subset of births is now possible.

An informal survey among the dozen or so community midwives practicing in our geographical area and spanning the last 20 years, failed to identify any babies born at home who have since been diagnosed with autistic disorders. Every year I attend a national midwifery conferences sponsored by MANA which includes an exchange between midwives of practice problems and unusual trends. Among the 400 or so community midwives (CNMs and direct-entry midwives), no cases of autism have been reported. Admittedly this is not a rigorous scientific study but it does raise questions as to whether strict adherence to physiological management of intrapartum events, either alone or in combination with the self-selection of healthy women choosing home-based midwifery care, may confer some protective effect relative to autistic disorders.
We are very much interested in facilitating this form of research and would be happy to follow your lead in helping to bring about interest in it by scientists at US-Davis and elsewhere who are involved in the study of autistic disorders.

I told her it doesn't surprise me that the women in that practice, nor the other midwives at the MANA conference didn't know of any autistic children they delivered.... if DD were ever diagnosed with Autism it would never cross my mind to call up my old midwife and tell her.

Anyway, I wouldn't doubt that routine medical interventions have *something* to do with the rates of autism, though I would doubt that they are *everything* to do with it. It sounds great that they are collecting all of this demographic information to do follow-ups with naturally birthed babies. Hopefully they follow through!

momof_3
08-04-2010, 04:32 PM
:popcorn: Interested too.

TwinKristi
08-04-2010, 04:35 PM
As a midwife in florida with a homebirth practice, it is hard to say but some of my moms had babies with autism and in home birth is ALL natural Found here (http://www.mybestbirth.com/forum/topics/pitocin-autism)

my oldest had a very gentle home birth and showed signs of autism by 12 months old (he is now diagnosed)... my youngest had a birth that required hospitalization and pitocin and he's right on track developmentally at a year... Found here (http://www.alldoulas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29990)

These aren't concrete study type links, just other forums where women reported instances of autism even with homebirth.

jeebee
08-04-2010, 04:52 PM
I'd be inclined to think it's BS.

Greenbabybottoms
08-04-2010, 04:54 PM
I have a friend whose 5 year old was born at home with a very gentle and easy labor/birth and he was dx at 3 years old w/ autism. Perhaps no child she knows but I don't think there is a correlation.

Janine
08-04-2010, 04:55 PM
No child that was homebirthed has ever developed autism? Yeah, she is talking out of her butt. There is no way for her to know that. She does not have records of every homebirth everywhere in the world, let alone the US. I personally think that anyone who thinks that there is a sole environmental cause for autism is not looking at the evidence. I would believe a sole genetic cause, but a sole environmental cause? Extremely unlikely.

petuniajo
08-04-2010, 04:56 PM
I'd be inclined to think it's BS.

Lol, I think so too! Again, I would believe that it is PART of the overall picture, but that has to be an overstatement for sure!

Here is what she told me:

"Like.... for the last 5+ yrs. it's being considered that the routine Pitocin drip, may be responsible for higher rates of Autism (especially in males) and World Health Org has stated this as a certainty. But you know as I do, it's sooo difficult to hold any 1 thing as a total cause...but as part of managed births, I can see it as a very possible "yes" for lots of reasons and because no home birth or BC (birth center) birth has ever resulted in an Autistic child"

Also, thanks for the links! I'll have to pass them onto her!

petuniajo
08-04-2010, 04:58 PM
No child that was homebirthed has ever developed autism? Yeah, she is talking out of her butt. There is no way for her to know that. She does not have records of every homebirth everywhere in the world, let alone the US. I personally think that anyone who thinks that there is a sole environmental cause for autism is not looking at the evidence. I would believe a sole genetic cause, but a sole environmental cause? Extremely unlikely.

EXACTLY my thinking! I admit I do not know a lot about autism, but my degrees are in human development and from what I have read it is very likely a combination of genetic and environmental cues.

TwinKristi
08-04-2010, 05:20 PM
Wow... one of pet peeves is people spreading misinformation. :banghead: I sure hope that wasn't sent out to several potential clients. You might want to pass along some information!

homebirthmom
08-04-2010, 05:23 PM
No child that was homebirthed has ever developed autism? Yeah, she is talking out of her butt. There is no way for her to know that. She does not have records of every homebirth everywhere in the world, let alone the US. I personally think that anyone who thinks that there is a sole environmental cause for autism is not looking at the evidence. I would believe a sole genetic cause, but a sole environmental cause? Extremely unlikely.

I agree, I'm a midwife and I think this is bunk.

Dory
08-04-2010, 07:04 PM
It sounds like she might be conjuring up some 'facts' to use as selling points for using her? It might be more accurate of her to say that none of her patients have given birth with her and had that child go on to be developed.

Gloriel
08-04-2010, 07:57 PM
Absolutely not true. I have at least one friend who had a homebirth and the child has autism.

Bethany89
08-04-2010, 08:14 PM
Yeah.. as everyone else says.. its definitely not true.. but maybe homebirth leads to less likely cause of autism? I mean.. when you think about hospitals and such and IVs we do get a lot of different fluids pumped into us, who knows! But I can see the less things we receive decreasing the chances of autism.. but thats bunk..

Bethan_77
08-04-2010, 08:19 PM
Hasn't autism been around longer than hospital birth?

petuniajo
08-04-2010, 09:18 PM
bump--updated with article she was thinking of :)

jefesita
08-04-2010, 09:27 PM
I think it's crap. My opinion. I have a son with Autism. He was born in a hospital, with pitocin. do I think it caused his Autism? no. Do I think vaccinations caused it? no.

There IS a study being started right now through the University of Chicago where they are trying to gather info and correlate the rise in Autism with the rise in medical interventions in birth. One of the mama's in the Due in September thread was asked to join the study. it will be a 5 year study and all the families involved will be followed for 5 years. reporting in with specific doctors yearly, if not more. They will be studying equal amounts of medical births and non medical births. Both in and out of the hospital.

petuniajo
08-04-2010, 09:41 PM
I think it's crap. My opinion. I have a son with Autism. He was born in a hospital, with pitocin. do I think it caused his Autism? no. Do I think vaccinations caused it? no.

There IS a study being started right now through the University of Chicago where they are trying to gather info and correlate the rise in Autism with the rise in medical interventions in birth. One of the mama's in the Due in September thread was asked to join the study. it will be a 5 year study and all the families involved will be followed for 5 years. reporting in with specific doctors yearly, if not more. They will be studying equal amounts of medical births and non medical births. Both in and out of the hospital.

This sounds like an excellent study!

iris0110
08-04-2010, 09:55 PM
No child that was homebirthed has ever developed autism? Yeah, she is talking out of her butt. There is no way for her to know that. She does not have records of every homebirth everywhere in the world, let alone the US. I personally think that anyone who thinks that there is a sole environmental cause for autism is not looking at the evidence. I would believe a sole genetic cause, but a sole environmental cause? Extremely unlikely.

I don't think we are ever going to find a single cause of autism because of the nature of autism as a diagnosis. It isn't like you can draw blood and test for autism. It is simply an observational process for an umbrella diagnosis. It has more to do with the symptoms than the root cause. There could be almost as many root causes for symptoms as there are children with symptoms. Autism is still a mystery to doctors and researchers, it is even more confusing to the average lay person. It was not that long ago that "refrigerator mom" was considered the cause of autism, and you would be surprised by how many people still believe these things. While I do not think I have personally met a home birthed child with autism, I don't know all of the autistic children in the country, nor do I really know that many children who were born at home to have a very large sampling. I think this doula is full of bs. Having your baby at home is not going to guarantee your child will not be on the spectrum any more than not vaxing will. A vaccination caused the brain damage that caused my son's autism diagnosis. This is true for him. He has brain damage from encephalitis. This brain damage led to certain symptoms and developmental delays that put him on the autism spectrum. If he had not developed encephalitis he would probably have been diagnosed with SPD eventually (his was mild previous to the encephalitis so he may never have picked up an actual diagnosis) but that is very different. This is just his individual situation though. He was born with pitocin and I don't believe that has anything to do with it. His brother was also delivered with pitocin, in the same hospital, with the same CNM and with a far harder labor and longer pushing phase. He is NT. I do not believe there is any one thing you can do or not do to guarantee your child will not be on the spectrum.

ladymeag
08-04-2010, 11:05 PM
No child that was homebirthed has ever developed autism? Yeah, she is talking out of her butt. There is no way for her to know that. She does not have records of every homebirth everywhere in the world, let alone the US. I personally think that anyone who thinks that there is a sole environmental cause for autism is not looking at the evidence. I would believe a sole genetic cause, but a sole environmental cause? Extremely unlikely.

Can I just follow you around and post a :yeahthat: after things you say?

It's getting ridiculous how often I agree with your post, your whole post and nothing but your post. :giggle2: