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Good Housekeeping
Charlene J. Owen, Contributor
November 17, 2012

Mothers With Flu During Pregnancy May Raise Autism Risk In Their Children

Would-be mothers need to be careful about the sniffles, as a new study has found that this may have adverse mental effects in their children. By Charlene J. Owen

It's a must for expectant moms to take care of their bodies, as whatever affects them physically also affects the children they carry. This is what a study on has expounded on, sharing that illnesses that we sometimes take for granted may cause mental conditions such as autism in our unborn child.

Researchers from the University of Aarhus, Denmark analyzed data from 96,736 children born from 1997 to 2003. Their mothers were asked about their physical constitution during pregnancy, and whether or not they have had any illnesses or have taken any antibiotics. They found that:

  1. Expectant mothers with influenza (flu) have twice the risk of giving birth to babies diagnosed with autism before three years old;

  2. Expectant mothers who have experienced week-long fevers have thrice the risk of giving birth to babies diagnosed with autism before three years old;

  3. Expectant mothers who have used antibiotics have a slightly higher risk of giving birth to a baby with autism spectrum disorder.

However, colds, sinus infections, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and genital infections were found to have no autism-related effects to babies.

This doesn't mean that pregnant women should panic, but it's important to be more aware and careful. If you're expecting, eat properly, sleep well, and always follow your gynecologist's advice.  Need a bit of female support?  Chat up our GIRLtalk regulars and learn through their experiences.

(Photo by o5com via Flickr Creative Commons)

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Charlene J. Owen
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