Post # 1
So I don’t want to start a debate or anything, and I’m not a conspiracy theorist or anything like that, but I just want to share what I learned this weekend – if only to encourage moms to be aware and ask questions. Also, I don’t have kids and I’m not pregnant – just an FYI.
I was talking with my Future Sister-In-Law at a wedding on Saturday (she is an internist) – and we were talking about research that has been done that MAY suggest a link between autism and ultrasounds. I had never heard of that possibility as a link. She (and I) are NOT saying there is any sort of proven link between the two, there is just a statistical correspondence that is being studied further.
Her point in telling me is that doctors/ultrasound techs do not inform pregnant women of risks that are associated with ultrasounds because they are considered safe (which they very well might be). So I just recommend that you talk to your doctor and ask WHY you are getting an ultrasound. If there is no medical reason, don’t get one. It just comes down to benefit/risk.
I read this in an article, which sounds like good advice to me:
“What this means is that pregnant women should not fear having standard ultrasound scans when they are medically needed but that these scans should not be carried out needlessly as keepsakes or as entertainment. Although it is wonderful to have scan photos or DVDs to show friends and families, you should not have excessive scans just for this purpose.”
I apologize if this is common knowledge. Like I said, I’m no where near parenthood so I’m a bit out of the loop.
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2012 - Historic Lougheed House
I think that if you look for statistics, you’ll find them. Unless you can actaully know what the genetic determinant of autism is, then you can’t say that U/S can contirubute to them (not you saying it, but the article).
I think that there is a big push to attribute something to autism since vaxx aren’t really being pushed as a factor anymore.
I think autisum has always existed and is a genetic variant. But, I’m not studying this and can’t prove it. Lol.
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2012 - Sunset Harbour
I think people are just desperate to find some sort of link to autisism they are saying that EVERYTHING is linked to it. I also heard there was a link to epidurals as well.
Post # 5
Honestly… I’ll believe it when I see proof. If you read up on it, there are a BUNCH of different theories that people have been studying as causes of ASD such as taking folic acid during pregnancy (which is recommended, especially in the first trimester), gestational diabetes, too much stress during pregnancy, not exposing the child to enough microbes and parasites in childhood, Vitamin D deficiency, lead poisoning, rain (yes, like the kind that falls from the sky), withholding affection… the list goes on and on.
Personally, I don’t think there is an increase in children having autism, I think that there is an increase in doctors diagnosing autism. It’s kind of like ADD/ADHD. Psychologists didn’t know much about it until the last 20 years or so and once they did they found huge amounts of kids that had it. Same here. They have only gotten to know a lot about the issue in the past decade or so. The more they learn about it, the more kids are diagnosed with it. My older brother very likely is autistic but he’s in his 30s now. When he was a kid, they didn’t know much about it so he was never diagnosed with it. If he would have been born 10 years later… he probably would have had it.
Yes, it is good to be informed about possible issues… but it’s also good not to believe everything you read. I don’t tend to believe studies until they have been peer-reviewed. Look at the public panic over the study that linked vaccines to autism. There was a HUGE backlash because of that and there were tons of moms who bought into it hook, line and sinker and it turned out not to be even remotely true.
While there MAY be a link to ultrasounds… ultrasounds are also vital tools in diagnosing fetal issues in-utero and they have saved many a baby and mother.
Post # 6
@b00kbug: You took the words right out of my mouth. They just don’t know what the cause it so basically witch hunt anything vauguely relating to children. They’ll be attributing autism to formula next 😉
@Crabbabs: Thanks for sharing this article though, it’s always good to keep ‘up to date’ 🙂
Post # 7
I agree with what most of the pp have said. Autism is a tricky subject – both to talk about and research.
Yes, ultrasounds are very important tools to have I am definitely NOT suggesting that people shouldn’t ever have ultrasounds even if their doctor recommends it. I just think I would not have unnecessary ultrasounds (i.e. just want to see a picture of the baby) even thought they are considered completely safe. One of those “just in case” things.
Post # 8
Correlation =/= causation. I guess I’m confused as to why they think this is true. Doesn’t every expecting mother get ultrasounds? I thought it was standard practice by now. If ultrasounds did cause autism wouldn’t every child have autism?
Post # 9
@zippylef: “Personally, I don’t think there is an increase in children having autism, I think that there is an increase in doctors diagnosing autism.”
Post # 10
I’m just hesitant to believe any of these autism links. I’ve heard being born too soon after another sibling causes/correlates it too, but I don’t think I’ll consider that when having babies.
Post # 11
I do think I will refrain from having ultrasounds that are not medically necessary, but I have always planned to do that.
That being said, it’s so tricky when information like this comes out because it causes problems. Like, Jenny McCarthy spoke all over the place about vaccinations and ya know what? People stopped vaccinating their children…and now you hear about Measles outbreaks, etc.
And with this, I’m afraid pregnant women will stop getting ultrasounds altogether, and that is risky. I know a woman who wanted a “spiritual experience” when she had her baby (aren’t that all spiritual experiences?!) and decided to have a home birth. She never got an ultrasound, ever. The midwife made a ton of errors and the woman was allowed to birth at home when she was 12 days overdue (fyi, if you are that overdue, a home birth is usually contraindicated due to risk and inability for the fetal head to fit through the pelvic bone) Long story short, this error on the part of the midwife, along with the fact that because no proper medical testing had ever been done, nobody noticed the cord was around the baby’s neck. They lost a heartbeat for about 86 minutes I think and baby was airlifted to a local hospital. Baby now has severe brain damage. The mother was told that had she received an ultrasound, she would have known the baby was too large to fit through the pelvic bone and they may have seen the cord around. I can’t tell you the amount of guilt and depression these parents have.
My point: I hope people don’t go around turning down medical care based on this study, like what happened with the vaccination stuff…
Post # 12
My daughter is autistic, and studies like this make me crazy. I sit there and think “Oh no, I had an ultrasound, did that cause my daughter’s autism? I had caffeine sometimes/used a fan in her room/was induced/she’s vaccinated…”
No one knows what causes autism, so people are scrambling for labels. I believe with the spike we’ve seen in recent years, it’s likely because of toxins in the environment or the crap that sneaks into our food. This baby has been like 90 times more expensive than my daughter was because every single thing in that nursery is organic. Pure cotton, no chemicals, nothing.
All you can do until someone says for sure THIS IS WHAT CAUSES IT is use common sense. I went with a midwife this time, had 2 ultrasounds and will have a third right before I deliver. I hope women will not start turning them down and miss potentially fatal problems with their pregnancies. You can do everything “right” and still end up with a child who is autistic.
Post # 13
While I agree unneccesary procedures/meds/whatever aren’t generally the best way to go, I’d be really hesitant to take a lot of stock in this ‘link’. First, high risk pregnancies (like my own) get ultrasounds at every single visit. It would be easy enough to show that multiples/high riskers have a higher risk of autism, but I haven’t seen anything suggesting that. Premature birth has a whole slew of documented risks in infancy and later in life, but I’ve never even read autism in any of that literature either. Second, it seems like the diagnosis of autism started increasing significantly around my generation (gen X/Y), but my mom was never offered a single ultrasound in her pregnancy with myself or my sister. I just don’t see it.
While I understand there are unknowns re: ultrasounds & my babies, I completely believe that the value the ultrasounds provide by checking on my twins health definitely outweighs any risks (based on the information we now know).
Post # 14
My daughter has autism. She is adopted. My sister is her biological mother. She had one ultrasound, because she didn’t get any prenatal care until she was 30 weeks along. So I doubt that one ultrasound caused it. My sister was on drugs for her entire pregnancy. While I believe the drugs most definitely had an effect on my daughter’s brain develpment, there is no scientific proof that says drug use causes autism either. They haven’t been able to pinpoint any one thing that may cause autism. Like a PP said, I am inclined to believe there isn’t actually an increase in children with autism, but rather more awareness of it.
Post # 15
Just want to clarify that that article was one of the first I found when I googled it to give an example. The discussion was with my Future Sister-In-Law who has read the medical papers and studies (she’s a medical doctor specializing in internal medicine, not ob/gyn.)
Definitely in your case, the benefits from ultrasounds definitely outweigh the risk. My Future Sister-In-Law was concerned that with the new industry of 4-D ultrasound image boutiques becoming more popular. Places like this.
Post # 16
It’s a good general rule of thumb to avoid medical procedures when unnecessary, but this just sounds like another one to add to the list of correlations: women who live close to freeways, who have children close together, who conceive in winter months, and who take SSRI’s all have a higher likelihood of having a child with autism. You could go crazy trying to do everything “right,” but the fact remains that we still just don’t know the genetic + environmental component(s). I wouldn’t worry until research demonstrates a causal link.