A new Danish study published in the medical journal Pediatrics found that women who had the flu or ran a fever for more than a week during their pregnancy face a greater risk of having a child with an autism spectrum disorder. There were nearly 97,000 children aged eight to 14 and born between 1997 and 2003 in Denmark whose mothers were surveyed, and one percent (976) of the children were diagnosed with autism.
Those mothers who had the flu during pregnancy were twice as likely to birth a child with autism, and those who had a fever that lasted more then seven days before 32 weeks gestation were three times as likely to birth a child with autism.
There was also an association found between antibiotic use during pregnancy and an increased risk of autism.
Articles are being written advocating that pregnant women receive a flu shot, as this was recommended by the researchers. We do not know the consequences of pregnant women taking a flu shot, that may contain chemicals like thimerosal…a mercury-rich preservative. The vaccine also is designed to illicit an immune/inflammatory response and inflammation from the flu is one very real consideration as to why the children of mothers with the Flu during pregnancy were more likely to be autistic. The flu causes inflammation in the body. There are also questions as to the efficacy of the vaccine itself. There are naturopathic ways to boost immune function and lower inflammation in pregnancy. With the help of a licensed naturopathic medical doctor or qualified holistic medical doctor women can take active steps to safely nourish their immune system before and during pregnancy.