Pregnancy Complications May Increase Autism Risk

For further information, contact Melissa Maimann at Essential Birth Consulting. Link

Complications during pregnancy may increase the risk of having a child with autism ...

The team reviewed 64 studies of prenatal risk factors for autism. It is the first time a meta-analysis of the relationship between pregnancy-related factors and risk of autism has been carried out ...

... the factors most strongly associated with an increased autism risk are:

- Being born to an older mother or father. - Having a mother who was born abroad. - Having a mother who experienced bleeding during pregnancy. - Having a mother who experienced gestational diabetes. - Having a mother who used medication during pregnancy. - Being the first born - or later born in families where there are three or more children.

... Mothers who are born in another country may not have natural resistance to infections in the country where they give birth, which may increase the risk for autism. Moving to another country may also put women under stress, which could increase their chances of having a child who develops autism.

Bleeding during pregnancy, gestational diabetes and medication use are also associated with increased autism risk. Bleeding can cause foetal hypoxia ... Women who develop diabetes during pregnancy experience hormonal and metabolic changes, which may affect their baby's health and development. Foetal development may also be affected by some medications which can cross the placenta during pregnancy.

The association between birth order and autism risk is unclear ...

"There is some evidence to suggest that exposure to pregnancy complications in general may increase the risk of autism."

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448