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Pitocin induced labor doubles the risk of ADHD

Monday, August 08, 2011 by: T.M. Hartle
Tags: pitocin, ADHD, health news

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(NewsTarget) Pregnant mothers often anxiously await the arrival of their little one. Unfortunately, this anxious waiting has turned into an epidemic of labor induction. Scientific research has recently uncovered the reality that labor induction poses several risks to both mother and baby. In April 2011 Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at Colorado State University published a study showing a strong relationship between pitocin induction and the incidence of ADHD. Labor induction has been linked in previous studies to increased risk of c-section, instrumental delivery, shoulder dystocia, NICU admission, and respiratory problems in the baby, among other complications. Elective induction of labor should be brought into question as research continues to increase indicating significant health risks without adequate benefit.

Researchers of the Colorado State University study concluded that there is a strong predictive relationship between pitocin in labor and subsequent ADHD development in childhood. The occurrence of ADHD in the pitocin group was 67.1% as opposed to 35.6% in the non-exposure group. The natural ebb and flow of nature is commonly overridden in our ever technology-reliant world, and often with risky results. As science continues to investigate invasive interventions in natural life events, such as childbirth, the dangers of intervening with nature are exposed.

There is a commonly held fear of birth in the medical community. Birth is a powerful, miraculous event that cannot be quantified or controlled. Induction is a seductive solution for both medical personnel and pregnant women. Doctors can induce women according to their own personal schedules and be home for dinner. Women can schedule the birth of their baby for their own convenience. Pregnant women praise modern technology and the ability to deliver early and be done with the discomforts of pregnancy. The question remains whether this is a wise option with respect to the health and wellbeing of the mother and baby.

Researchers of the pitocin study stated, 'these findings suggest a pitocin-linked, interactive constellation of mechanisms initiates a neuro-developmental cascade that disrupts cognitive executive functioning, kindling ADHD.' Researchers also mention concerns over deprivation of oxygen and prolonged exposure to hypertonic uterine contractions along with a combination of other factors in the development of ADHD in pitocin-exposed children. The risks of elective induction is known, and yet hospitals have failed to respond with policy changes restricting interventions for medical necessity only. Science is just beginning to understand the importance of the natural initiation of labor.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that a protein released from the lungs of a developing fetus initiates the cascade of chemical events leading to the initiation of labor in the mother. Research has shown failure to allow the baby to signal readiness results in increased risk of NICU admission, resuscitation, jaundice and other complications for babies. Pregnant mothers should educate themselves about the risks of elective induction and avoid pressuring their healthcare provider to induce them for convenience.

It is critically important to recognize that we may not fully understand the lifelong implications of interfering with the natural flow of pregnancy, labor and birth. The International Cesarean Awareness Network advises pregnant women to work with their practitioners to avoid induction unless there is a medical condition requiring induction of labor. This natural synergy between the mother and baby is carefully orchestrated for the baby to be born when the baby is physiologically ready to meet the world.

Boulvain M, Marcoux S, Bureau M, Fortier M, Fraser W. Risks of induction of labour in uncomplicated term pregnancies. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2001 Apr;15(2):131-8.

About the author

T.M. Hartle has a Bachelors degree in Natural Health Science with a concentration in Clinical Nutrition as well as a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University. She is a student midwife who teaches pregnancy nutrition courses to midwives and childbirth educators throughout the country. She has a certificate in the Essentials of raw culinary arts from Living Light Culinary Arts Institute and is the Owner and Chef of The Peaceful Kitchen. http://www.thepeacefulkitchen.blogspot.com

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