Consensus Statements and Practice AdvisoriesConsensus Statement

The Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) issues position statements, consensus documents, and advisories on critical topics through the work of our Intersociety Committee. 

SOAP Members: Visit the Learning Center to view full listing of Consensus Statements

Requests or Inquiries for SOAP Collaboration 

If you are a representative from another medical organization interested in collaboration with SOAP on a statement, guideline or research or if you are a SOAP member who has been contacted by an organization, please complete the SOAP Consensus/Collaboration Request Form.  This will allow us to coordinate with the SOAP Intersociety Committee to ensure that the correct SOAP resources are accessed.

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Public Consensus Statements 

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

October 1, 2021 -  Findings from 2 new population-based studies in JAMA do not provide supportive evidence for an association between epidural labor analgesia and autism spectrum disorder in children. 

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:

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.

SOAP consensus statements are not intended to set out a legal standard of care and do not replace medical care or the judgment of the responsible medical professional in light of all the circumstances presented by an individual patient. Consensus statements are not intended to ensure a successful patient outcome in every situation and are not a guarantee of any specific outcome. Consensus statements are subject to periodic revision as additional data becomes available.