…A total of 5522 (17%) children were born to mothers exposed to antibiotics during pregnancy. In adjusted analyses, children born to exposed mothers had higher odds of asthma (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.24). There was no association with antibiotic exposure in the first trimester (OR 1.02, 95% CI 0.83 to 1.26), but higher odds were observed for antibiotic exposure in the second to third trimester (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.28), compared with unexposed children.
The overall association between antibiotics during pregnancy and childhood asthma was only observed in vaginally born children (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.28) but not in caesarean section born children (planned caesarean section: OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.37; caesarean emergency: OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.28). In exposed vaginally born children, the odds for childhood asthma requiring treatment during the preceding year were 34% higher (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.49), compared with unexposed vaginally born children.
Conclusions Antibiotic exposure in mid-to-late pregnancy is associated with higher odds of childhood asthma in vaginally born children. Mode of delivery may modify the association.