Pregnancy Gaps Are Associated to ASD

Many people believe that being a mother is the hardest, yet rewarding, job in the world. For people that want large families, is there any risk? A recent study shed light on how close pregnancies is associated with ASD.

The researchers concluded that small time gaps between pregnancies could increase the chances of the offspring having autism. It also goes the opposite way, in the fact that long times between pregnancies also can raise the possibility of ASD.

The conclusions were drawn from previous research surrounding 1.1 million children from seven studies showing a possible connection between birth gaps and autism. These studies also mentioned a connection between the pregnancy spacing and Aspergers, as well as pervasive development disorder.

Dr. Agustin Conde-Agudelo, a researcher at the World Health Organization Collaborating Center in Human Reproduction at the University of Valle in Cali, Colombia, lead the study and gave his perspective on the proper pregnancy gap, between too close together and too far apart.

“Based on the current best available evidence, it appears that the ideal interpregnancy interval — the time elapsed between the birth of the immediate older sibling and the conception of the younger sibling — is 2 to 5 years, in order to reduce the risk of autism,” said Conde-Agudelo.

The connection between autism and close pregnancies could be due to low B folic acid in the mother, which is needed for fetuses to properly develop their brain and spinal cord.

Longer gaps between pregnancies could increase the chance of autism due to infertility, maternal inflammation levels, and unplanned pregnancies.

The researchers stress that shorter, or longer, pregnancy gaps don’t alone cause ASD, but that it can influence the possibility.


For more information, check out the source for this blog post, CBS News

Written By Nicole Caropolo

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