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Steroid injections for a planned c-section?

(11 Posts)
cloudjumper Fri 06-Nov-15 09:07:14

Due to medical history I have been offered an ELCS, and when we met with the consultant to discuss this a few months ago, she mentioned that they now offer steroid injections to women for a planned C-section. These are the same ones that are given when you are at risk for premature birth, helping to develop baby's lungs. Apparently, studies have shown that the steroid injections help prevent respiratory problems later in life.

I had never heard of this before the meeting and I was wondering if anyone has been offered the steroids for an ELCS? It will be my decision whether to have them or not, and I would be grateful for any information/experience that anyone might share (my ELCS is planned for 38 weeks). My midwife knew about this, apparently it's quite common these days, but no one I know who has had an ELCS recently was offered.
Does anyone know about this study or any other information?

SunnyDays1987 Fri 06-Nov-15 09:13:34

I had the steroid injection, totally different reason to you, I was being induced at 36 weeks. But I asked about the injection in general and my hospital told me that it was usually only babies under 35 weeks, I think they gave it to me because I had pre eclampsia so there was a risk of my baby's lungs not being developed properly. Anyway, I'm not a doctor but I can't really see why there would be any benefit in later life though, especially not for a baby so close to term? Unless they thought there might be a problem with their lungs? Just to give you the heads up though, it's a really big injection and seems to go on for a long time!

Metalhead Fri 06-Nov-15 09:15:02

I've not been offered it but then my ELCS is booked for 39 weeks, which is pretty much full term. Have never heard of any studies relating to this either. Maybe I should ask about it?!

RainWildsGirl Fri 06-Nov-15 09:17:03

its new guidelines, I have also been told if they deliver me before 39 weeks they will give the steroid injection. latest stats show a considerable difference in rates of respiratory issues between babies born at 37-38 weeks and those born at 39+ weeks. its linked in with the fact that the guideline for planned sections is now 39 weeks instead of 38.

cloudjumper Fri 06-Nov-15 09:24:23

Thanks all! I was told that they do the injections regardless of when the ELCS happens. Apparently to counteract the fact that during normal labour, the mechanical stress of birthing clears the baby's lungs (squeezing fluids out while coming through the birth canal etc), which you don't get with a C-section, and this could result in respiratory issues later in life. Nothing to do with the lungs' maturity etc.
But it's entirely up to me whether to have it or not, it's not obligatory, just a recommendation.

Brummiegirl15 Fri 06-Nov-15 11:06:40

I've had it written in my notes that I may need a steroid injection for early delivery. And I've heard it's a big injection as well! confused

Can't believe you are that close already!!! grin I'm 28 weeks now

JJXM Fri 06-Nov-15 11:15:24

I'm having a planned c-section at 38+6. At my hospital this is the cut off for steroid injections. Before this point it is now standard practice to offer them.

Mulligrubs Fri 06-Nov-15 11:19:13

The new guidelines are c-sections planned before 39 weeks need steroids. They can't make you have them but I don't see why anyone wouldn't have them because the rates of respiratory problems in babies delivered by c-section are much higher than in those delivered by VB.

I had them a few weeks ago (2 steroid injections) as DD was planned at 37 weeks due to medical issues. They were unpleasant in that the injections hurt slightly more than your flu jab/anti d/ whooping cough and I felt a bit shaky in the evening. But really there were no lasting side effects and my DD was born with no respiratory problems.

cedricsneer Fri 06-Nov-15 11:21:33

My ds (4) was born by elective c-section with respiratory distress syndrome and was on a ventilator. I wish I had been offered steroid injections (he is fine now).

rallytog1 Fri 06-Nov-15 16:30:01

My consultant said I'd need the steroid injection if I have my cs at 38 weeks but not at 39. Like pps have said, I think it's standard before 39 weeks now.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Fri 06-Nov-15 17:16:11

Yes, standard before 39 weeks for c section and before 37 weeks for any type of birth. I had them for DS born at 36 weeks by EMCS and his lungs were find thankfully. I didn't have them with DD as the ELCS was at 39 weeks but if I'd gone into labour beforehand I would've had them.
They do hurt but at that stage everything hurts - it's not too bad!

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