Corticosteroids for Preterm Babies

Assumption: A dose of corticosteroids given to women at high risk of preterm labor helps babies’ lungs develop and prevents problems.

TRUE
No negative side effects have been documented, but fewer babies are dying of breathing problems when moms are given an injection of corticosteroids prior to birth.  The corticosteroids help the lungs develop more quickly, preventing respiratory distress.

http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab004454.html

My Views:
Since the lungs appear to be the last organs to fully develop, I am so glad women have options that will help their babies breathe if the babies are born early (prior to 37 weeks).  These studies indicated no adverse effects to mom or baby, which is comforting as well.  However, the studies examined in this report examined the effects of ONE does of the steriods.  Multiple doses *may* have effects and should be used sparingly.

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