The place of antenatal corticosteroids in late preterm and early term births

Hagar Rahel Haviv*, Joanne Said, Ben Willem Mol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Infants born in the late preterm period and via non-labour caesarean section in the early term period are at increased risk of respiratory morbidity when compared to their term-born counterparts. The morbidity in these infants is less frequent and severe than in early preterm infants. Antenatal corticosteroids reduce respiratory morbidity in these populations; however, the magnitude of the reduction appears to be small and predominantly in the self-limiting condition of transient tachypnoea of the neonate. The smaller benefit, along with possible harmful effects of corticosteroids, raises a question about the role of antenatal corticosteroids in this population. Special obstetric populations such as twin pregnancies and pregnancies complicated by diabetes and growth restriction are at increased risk of prematurity and more vulnerable to its complications. Nevertheless, there is limited evidence regarding the benefits of corticosteroids in these populations and potential concern regarding adverse effects. We recommend an individualised approach when administering corticosteroids at later gestations. In these specific obstetric populations, we do not currently recommend administering corticosteroids in the late preterm/early term periods until more evidence is available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date4 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2019


  • Antenatal steroids
  • Caesarean section
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Maternal diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Respiratory complications
  • Twins


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