Induced Labor & Autism Risk

A new study linking labor induction to increased autism risk was this week’s big birth story. This isn’t about blame, or guilt. With new awareness comes an understandable tendency to veer in the direction of feeling angry, ashamed, and similar negatives that keep us stuck. With new awareness also comes power, which is worth us taking a deep breath, steadying ourselves, and taking our heads out of the sand about autism risk and how we do birth in America.

My colleagues like Michel Odent and Sarah Buckley have been writing about this concern for years, and I reported on it in Parenting for Peace (see excerpt below). Dr. Odent cautions us (with respect to our tendency to anguish over these reports) that when reading about such studies, you cannot be thinking of your own family, your friends, or your neighbor’s cousin’s autistic son. In his latest book Childbirth and the Future of Homo Sapiens, Odent emphasizes that these are population-based (epidemiological) studies that reach conclusions in terms of tendencies, risk factors and statistically significant differences amongst huge numbers of people. It is not appropriate or valid (although it is always tempting) to apply these autism risk findings to specific individual cases! {Please read the rest at}

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