Late Babies At Risk for Developing ADHD in Early ChildhoodFor years scientists have warned that premature birth is a risk factor for behavioral and emotional problems, but now researchers are suggesting that overdue births may present similar challenges.
Results from a recent study published in the Journal of Epidemiology found that children born more than two weeks past their due date were twice as likely as term children to develop problem behaviors—especially ADHD—in early childhood.
While researchers were quick to note that further study is needed to understand the causal relationship between gestational age and ADHD, they were able to exclude certain variables such as mother’s height and weight, income, education level, ethnicity, alcohol and cigarette use, and mental health during pregnancy.
Instead they hypothesize several possibilities to explain their findings: larger babies have increased risk for birth-related problems; post-term placenta provides less nutrients and oxygen; and late-term births are more complicated than term births.
This particular study is one component of a large population-based study in the Netherlands that is following a cohort from fetal life to young adulthood. For this effort, researchers surveyed the parents of 5,145 babies born from 2002 to 2006. Participants were sent standardized, validated questionnaires when their babies were 18 and 36 months old. Results at both questionnaire intervals showed a U-shaped pattern with preterm and post-term babies at greater risk for behavioral and emotional problems. (link)Dylan was late - induced at 42 weeks and still not eager to come out. But he had none of the other markers they discuss: birth-related probmes (we had none) and a more complicated birth (beyond the lack of desire to come out, the birth was complication free). The placenta providing fewer (did they have to use poor English!) nutrients is a consideration, though.
It changes nothing. ADHD moms constantly seeking causes and solutions have to remember that finding sources changes nothing. And we/I have to avoid second guessing decisions that seemed good at the time.
The Smart Kids with LD site is great! Their blog newsletter is wonderful, sent only when there's worthwhile news. The site is laid out well and provides information for a range of learning deficits and does not treat ADHD like a step-child.