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Labor Epidurals Do Not Cause Autism; Safe for Mothers and Infants


Added April 21, 2021: SOAP was gratified to receive notification from SOAP members Dr. Brian Bateman and Dr. Alex Butwick that additional research on this critical issue has been published in JAMA Pediatrics. The findings of these comprehensive research studies, published April 19, 2021, found no association between autism and labor epidurals for pain relief. This reinforces our previous statement that labor epidurals are safe. Here are links to the e-published research studies:

In October 2020, SOAP reassured pregnant women that the article “Association Between Epidural Analgesia During Labor and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Offspring,” a retrospective database study published in JAMA Pediatrics on October 12, 2020, did not provide credible scientific evidence that labor epidurals for pain relief cause autism. SOAP jointly released a statement with the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Society for Pediatric Anesthesia, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and provided the following resources.


Media Partners

The following publications are partners with SOAP on the common goal of education, research and improving patient care in obstetric anesthesia.