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To refuse steroid injections

(20 Posts)
SOPH781 Fri 15-Apr-16 09:04:07

I was hoping to get some opinions/advice on this please. I'm booked in for a C-section at 38+5 due to medical reasons. I have been advised that I will need 2 lots of steroid injections to help the baby's lungs develop. (Seeing as though he is being delivered a bit early.)

However, after doing some research, it seems as though I wouldn't be required to have these steroids if my C-section was being done at 39 weeks. (Or If I go into labour at 38+5) So surely 48 hours isn't going to make any difference in terms of the baby's lung development..?

It seems to me a bit pointless to have these injections unnecessarily. I hate the idea of my baby being born full of artificial steroids so I'm thinking of refusing to have them altogether. Does anyone know if they will refuse to do the C-section early if I say no to the steroids?

Thank you!

MrsJayy Fri 15-Apr-16 09:08:31

38 weeks + is considered term I dont understand why you have been offered steriods seems pointless. I had them but my babies could have been born anytime at 28 weeks i had them at 35/6

wonkylegs Fri 15-Apr-16 09:11:15

They are just following the current guidelines which recently changed to all planned c-sections before 39wks, there has to be a cut off somewhere and this is where it currently is.

curren Fri 15-Apr-16 09:11:49

Is the baby growing ok?

Anything over 37 weeks was classed as term when I had dd (now 12) and ds (now five).

When dd was born around 37 weeks and came home 12 hours later. Absolutely fine.

MrsJayy Fri 15-Apr-16 09:13:26

It just seems over cautious

wannabehippyandcrazycatlover Fri 15-Apr-16 09:15:11

I had my baby at 38+1 in an elective c-section and I wasn't advised I needed these as I was full term.

I would ask again about the necessity of these as you are classed as full term at 37 weeks.

Imnotacelebgetmeouttahere Fri 15-Apr-16 09:15:19

the way it was explained to me was babies who deliver vaginally, the process actually helps their lungs whereas a section doesn't... I don't know the ins and outs...but after having 4 preemies I would be inclined towards accepting the injections and trusting their judgement rather than potentially a baby who struggles to breathe. Obv it's unlikely at 38+5 but still a possibility

wannabehippyandcrazycatlover Fri 15-Apr-16 09:16:46

My baby is 5 months so it was a recent birth.

Have you been advised that there is an issue with your baby's lungs?!

SOPH781 Fri 15-Apr-16 09:53:16

Hi thanks for the responses. The baby is fine, lots of movement and measuring in 9th percentile. Bump is huge. I think mrsjayy is right it seems over cautious. I'm going to ring the unit to see if they will do the section without me having the injections. Thanks x

SOPH781 Fri 15-Apr-16 09:54:30

*95th percentile

CoffeeCoffeeAndLotsOfIt Fri 15-Apr-16 10:13:50

I had a section for medical reasons at 38+0. No injections offered.

My son was small - 5lb8 and had trouble regulating his temp and blood sugars for a few days. No problems breathing though.

Minisoksmakehardwork Fri 15-Apr-16 10:15:56

Same as imnota. Vaginal birth helps a baby get rid of all the secretions in a baby's airways.

My understanding is even in babies considered term, the administering of steroids for a caesarean birth reduced the likelihood of admission to scbu/nicu.

I found this an interesting read as it does explain why they do it and why it might not be necessary.

MammaTJ Fri 15-Apr-16 10:23:42

the way it was explained to me was babies who deliver vaginally, the process actually helps their lungs whereas a section doesn't... I don't know the ins and outs...but after having 4 preemies I would be inclined towards accepting the injections and trusting their judgement rather than potentially a baby who struggles to breathe. Obv it's unlikely at 38+5 but still a possibility

This is indeed correct. When baby is inside mum, blood does not go through the lungs, it doesn't need to, baby gets all the oxygen it needs from mum!

When the baby is pushed through the vagina it helps make the switch, so the blood then goes through the baby's lungs and then takes oxygen around the rest of the body, brain etc!

If a baby is born by c section, that change is less likely to happen.

Steroids help with it.

Having had a baby by emergency c section that this happened to, I would say take the steroid injection!

My DD got whisked away from me to a hospital 60 miles away. We were seperated for over 24 hours and I honestly did not know whether she would be alive or dead when I finally got to her. She also was at risk of brain damage.

She is fine though! By the skin of her teeth!

AliceInUnderpants Fri 15-Apr-16 10:26:30

I guess it depends on the 'medical reasons' for the early delivery.

Lexipedia Fri 15-Apr-16 10:28:18

My hospital did them if birth was planned at 37 weeks or before, so I was given them before my second birth, which was a planned c-section at 37 weeks.

poocatcherchampion Fri 15-Apr-16 10:29:58

That was the case for my planned section 38+6 was my preferred day but they bumped it to 39 as I didn't want steroids.

As it was he came at 35+5 and I only had chance for one lot, which at that point I really wanted although they hurt like buggery

PacificDogwod Fri 15-Apr-16 10:36:40

Yes, recommendations for steroid injections have changed not that long ago.

A few babies born after 38 weeks still have problems getting their lungs to work and CS makes the likelihood of problems higher.

Of course you can decline the injections without any change to your CS otherwise.
But - I think you need to understand the reasons for offering the injection to you/your baby a bit better before you make the informed decision to not have them.

And re 'artificial steroids' - how are they any different than the steroids (including testosterone and oestrogen and cortisol etc etc ) that your baby is exposed to in utero and during delivery??

In the interest of full disclosure: I had those injections when DS2's delivery was threatened at 25 weeks. He was delivered at 31 weeks and had more breathing problems than expected - at the time (12 years ago) a second lot of steroids was not recommended. I think he might have benefitted from them. Also, I am a GP, not an expert grin

Good luck, whatever you decide, when the time comes thanks

Zaurak Fri 15-Apr-16 10:49:31

Personally I would take them. Natural term can be anywhere up to 42 weeks so by having a section at 38 you could in theory be bringing the baby out four weeks before they would have come out without intervention.
A much higher proportion of babies born by c section even those born very close to 42 weeks need breathing assistance.
The risk/benefit ratio is on the side of taking the injections. The risk to you or the baby from them is minimal but the potential benefit is high - as is the potential for harm of the baby needs them and doesn't get them.

Don't get hung up on the idea of them bring artificial- when it comes to certain chemical compounds there's no difference between, say, vitamin c from an orange or vitamin c made in a lab. Natural isn't always better - cyanide, asbestos ... Both entirely natural.

It's totally up to you ofc but make sure you fully understand the potential risks before you decline. Good luck!

Zaurak Fri 15-Apr-16 10:50:03

Even those close to 40 weeks sorry! Typo smile

MrsJayy Fri 15-Apr-16 11:01:10

As i said it does seem overly cautious but I dont think the steroids would harm your baby and if it is current guidelines for sections then I wouldnt dismiss the injections

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