A new study published in the journal Pediatrics has suggested that complications during and after childbirth could indicate an increased risk that the baby could suffer from autism.
The study, carried out by researchers from the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, looked into more than 40 studies that were published before April 2007 and found 16 complications that occur during labor and just after childbirth that coincided with an increased risk that the baby would develop autism later in its life.
While the researchers were unable to pinpoint the exact cause of why the complications increased autism risk, almost all of the complications involved with oxygen deprivation and growth retardation.
Stating that their conclusion could be just one of the reasons for autism, lead researcher Hannah Gardener said, "Reduced oxygen supply, during labor, during delivery, during the prenatal period, during early infancy, could influence autism risk. We can't say that definitely from our study, but that certainly is one possibility."