Correlation Does Not Mean Cause

My next few posts are going to show whether there’s a pattern between type of labour and outcome so this is just a quick post to remind readers that correlation not not mean cause so interpretation with a large pinch of salt is in order. This is particularly true in an amateur study such as mine where number of respondents is relatively low.

So, what exactly to I mean by this? Well, the easiest way to explain is to give a specific example.

One of the questions I asked in my survey was “What position were you in when you baby was delivered?”. I asked this question because we know that some positions (e.g. squatting) create a lot more tension in the perineum than others (e.g all fours) and thus may increase the likelihood of a severe tear. So it is feasible that the results would show a trend whereby upright birthing positions resulted in more trauma to the perineum than recumbent positions where gravity and baby weight are not as influential.

But what if the reason women were in recumbent positions was because they were connected to induction drips? Perhaps it is actually this third factor of inducing labour that is influencing our results? We must therefore err on the side of caution when concluding that birthing position causes severe tears.

In reality, I think the results will be influenced by a large number of factors to varying degrees.  There will most probably also be factors at play not captured by the survey. Please bear this in mind when reading the next posts.



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