July 12, 2010

Possible Autism and Terbutaline Link

As a reader of Petite Planet, you're probably well aware of my desire to educate my readers, to the best of my ability, with regard to possible environmental factors that may play a role in causing autism (ie: vaccinations, pesticides, etc.)

I was recently placed on bed rest, (and am currently on it now), and while in the hospital with regular contractions at 33 weeks, my doctor started me on terbutaline injections to stop the contractions. I then got to go home with the instructions of 2 weeks bed rest and the order to take terbutaline every four hours round the clock to keep contractions at bay.

Given my severe sensitivities to drugs, after 48 hours of downing the terbutaline, my body simply went ballistic. My heart was racing so fast that you could see my shirt rise and fall with each beat, and I couldn't breathe. I decided to do what every doctor wishes their patient wouldn't... and I started to "Google" terbutaline. Much to my horror, I found story after story from pregnant women who were also put on this medication to halt pre-term labor, and their children have been diagnosed with autism, are on the spectrum of autism, or suffer developmental speech delays and motor skill problems at best.

I called my doctor immediately with the news of my side effects, and also to tell her I cannot take this medication knowing the autism link. She didn't admit to any correlation, but said I could go off the meds. We're now figuring out the best course of therapy to get me to at least 35 weeks without being on terbutaline.

The reason I am sharing this here, is that, as usual, you walk into a hospital panicked and do whatever care providers tell you to do and take whatever they're injecting because you believe it will benefit your baby. Even when my husband and I asked about the risks that went along with each and every syringe that was shot into me, we were told everything would be okay. But are doctors the ones who go on to raise the disabled children who were possibly made so by the medications given to them while in the womb?

I think every mother should be empowered with the knowledge of the possible outcomes of the drugs they are taking while pregnant. If it means turning to the Internet to find a community who is clamoring to get the word out about the terbutaline/autism link, then so be it. We must be armed with this information in order to make the best possible choices for our families.

Here is a good post I read on the possible terbutaline/autism link, with several comments expounding on the topic.


Josee said...

Thanks for sharing. I hope that your pregnancy progresses alright until 35 weeks. Threatened/preterm labour is scary. I went into it at 32 weeks :S

Petite Planet said...

Thanks for your well wishes, Josee.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I am debating whether to vaccinate my 6 week old or not. Although I have heard the argument that the MMR vaccine is linked to Autism there is still no study that supports that argument. But I do believe that all the vaccines given together do contribute to Autism and other developmental sicknesses. It is hard to make the decision doctors tell parents their children will be okay. but sometimes they are not. Well, I hope and pray that you make it to 35 weeks and that your baby is healthy and strong. God bless

Petite Planet said...

Thanks so much for your well wishes, A. Williams. I would highly recommend following Dr. Sears' delayed schedule of immunizations, which spaces out and re-orders the amount and types of vaccinations given to babies at any given time. Children will still be protected and immunized, but on a much safer, less aggressive timeline.

Trisha said...

Hi! I am an avid reader of your blog! I, too, am researching all things baby-child-care eco-ness out there! When I read about your bed rest issues... I thought maybe you could look into Hypnobabies. I used this when I had my natural childbirth 2 years ago. My friend, Amy, is an instructor and we've talked about all aspects of the program. They have a CD specifically for "Baby Stay In." I, myself, haven't used that one because I didn't need it. It sounds like it might be right up your alley!

Here's the link to my friend's page: http://hypnobabiesmov.com/

Here's the link to the main (official) Hypnobabies page: http://hypnobabies.com/

Hopefully you'll be able to find an instructor in your area and get some more info!!

Good Luck!! I'll be thinking about you and your wee one! :)

Petite Planet said...

Thanks so much, Trisha! I really appreciate your suggestion and will look at your friend's site now!