23 answers

Steroids for Fetal Lung Development?

The goods new is the baby is healthy and above average in weight, however, the drs. are quite certain I will have an early csection, due to complications/high risk and have talked about giving me steroids to speed up the baby's lung development (I A. 29.5 weeks right now). If you were given steroids to speed up lung development, can you tell me what the experience was like? Any side effects for the baby (or you)? I really do understand that this is for the benefit of the baby, in the event he comes early, it gives him the best chance of survival without assistance, however, I would also like to be educated on side effects, so that I A. aware.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hey A. : )

Congratulations on the little one! It is great that the baby is healthy, that is the most important thing!

I had steroids for lung development 24 years ago, when my little one was 20-28 weeks old. We managed to develop them enough that there were no major problems! He was born at 28-1/2 weeks! There were no complications for either of us with the steroids. My son was so young, he took a while to complete his lung development, and his very early birth led to delayed development. We were very lucky that there were no other complications, as he was in oxygen for a long time before he stabilized.

Good news is, he is healthy, is rarely ill, is 6 ft. 2 inches now, and a great young man at 24 years old.

Hope everything goes as well for you!

Hello, i slowly began leaking amniotic fluid @ 31 weeks, so they hospitalized me with bed rest. They knew baby would be early from this, and gave me a shot of steroids in the rump (: It was fine, just felt like a horse! My baby was born at 32 weeks, weighing 4.3lbs. She never needed any assistance with breathing. I do not know if that was due to the shot or not. She stayed in ICU for only a week (a sweet miracle) and was home. She never had any repitory issues. She is now 9 years old, and wonderful. Congrats on a baby, very exciting.

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Eleven years ago, I was on 6 weeks of bedrest (before wireless internet!! Ack!) from about 29 to almost 36 weeks of pregnancy. I was given a steroid shot at some point -- can't remember when and had to inject myself with tributaline (since then, no longer recommended). After all that drama, my son was born at around 37 weeks and was fine. Now he's 11 and a super athlete, so clearly his lungs are fine.
One unsolicited tip -- if you know that you'll be delivering before 36 weeks, which is around when fetuses develop their suckling skills, talk to a lactation consultant now about nursing preemies, see if you can meet a mom with experience, perhaps line up a breast pump rental...all while your baby is still super portable in your belly! :) Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello...
I had two steroid shots with one of my pregnancies. Other than the fact the steroid shots hurt more than most other shots, there was no noticeable side effects at all. Don't be worried about it. My shots were given in the bum, and they stung/burned a bit. They must have worked, because my baby had full lung capacity and growth at birth.

Congratulations on your upcoming arrival!

I had a steroid shot at 30 weeks because I went into preterm labor and they were concerned the lungs would not be fully developed if I delivered. I don't recall any side effects for either one of us. Just soreness at the injection site...it hurt :( Anyways, he was born healthy at 34 weeks. Good luck to you and your new little one.

Not to scare you or anything, but being a NICU nurse before kids, I got to see a lot of the little ones who didn 't have time to get the steroids and their hospital course was always much longer, more precarious, and they sometimes ended up with long-term effects. These long term effects include scarring in their lungs which can make them more prone to lung infections and respiratory problems (serious asthma-like stuff) throughout their life. They will NOT necessarily outgrow the scarring.
Before I was a mom, I thought that this stuff was an accepted hazard of having a premature baby, but having sick little ones - even with just the plain old runny nose/cough stuff - is bad enough. Permanent breathing issues must be a nightmare for the parents as well as the kids. If I was making the choice, I would go for the steroids regardless of any side effects to save my little guy from any illness I could. Just my opinion though.
Hope this helps.
:-)
Jen

Hello, i slowly began leaking amniotic fluid @ 31 weeks, so they hospitalized me with bed rest. They knew baby would be early from this, and gave me a shot of steroids in the rump (: It was fine, just felt like a horse! My baby was born at 32 weeks, weighing 4.3lbs. She never needed any assistance with breathing. I do not know if that was due to the shot or not. She stayed in ICU for only a week (a sweet miracle) and was home. She never had any repitory issues. She is now 9 years old, and wonderful. Congrats on a baby, very exciting.

I had to have 2 shots of steriods with my last pregancy for lung development. I started having contractions at 24 weeks and with my history of having my babies early, my dr suggested the shots to be sure his lungs were developed when he did finally come. I went to the hospital and they layed me on a bed and gave me the shot in my hip. It hurt like hell, I will be completly honest, but after the shot, I was fine. My leg only hurt during the shot. Well worth it! My son came 3 weeks early and he was very healthy!

Good Luck!
M.

I didn't have any problems at all with the shot...only that it stung for a little bit. It's perfectly safe!

Hi A. - I was given 2 shots of steroids for fetal lung development as I had preclampsia/toximia and the Doctors were concerned of me having an early birth. The shots were give in the thigh or butt. I thought the shot was very painful. I still felt pain after the shot was given but was told this was normal. Other than that I had no side effects or problems. I ended up having and emergency c-section at 32 weeks. My daughter was born at 3 lbs and her lungs were functioning good. She was in the NICU for a month and was breathing on her own. So I believe that the steroids helped. Hope this was helpful to you. I wish you and your baby all the best!

Hi A.

I went into preterm labor with my son at 29 weeks and was hospitalized, given magnesium sulfate to stop contractions, and given steroids in case my son delivered early. Basically they gave me 4 shots IM called dexamethasone to help improve the lung maturity, but they also give betamthasone depending on your hospital (less shots ). The shots were a little painful but I was able to stay on bed rest till 36 weeks and had a healthy 5# 12 oz baby boy who can out screaming and breathing well on his own. He never went to the NICU. I wish you the best in your pregnancy and hope you have a healthy baby.

Take care
NA

I was given the two dose steroid shots when I developed Eclampsia with my son. If I can remember correctly they give you these shots 24 hours apart (if you have time to wait that long). The shot itself was given in your butt cheek and it was painful (my husband said the needle was big), but at this point you'll do anything to help your premature baby. My baby ended up being born by c-section at 33 weeks and weighed only 3 pounds. The steroid shot helped A LOT and he was only on breathing assistance in the NICU for 48 hours before coming off it completely. He came home from the NICU after 2 weeks (less than 4 pounds) and is now a perfectly healthy and active (just small) 17 month old.

Side effects from the shot (for me): hair growth- on my lower BACK! Yuck! I felt like a man with dark, thick hair on my lower back/upper butt, but it eventually fell out/went away. It took 3 months though. That was the only side effect I experienced.

Good luck with your pregnancy and keep that baby in as long as possible. Every day counts! :)

I didn't notice any ill effects for me or my preterm baby. He was born at 32 weeks last April and he's PERFECT now, at a year. I was only able to keep him inside of me for less than 24 hours after the shot and there was so much other drama due to early labor that I could have had some side effects, I suppose, that I just did not pick up on.
I A. going to assume that he was better off for having it but I will never know for sure. Kind of like vacinations. It's so easy to say they're too hard on a baby's system until they get some wreched disease that all the other kids were vacinated for, and end up crippled or dead.
Good luck! So many tough decisions!

I had the shots. My daughter was born 1 month early. She did great. I gained more weight than I did with my other 2 kids and it was harder to loose....probably just me being older and on bedrest for the end of the pregnancy. Good luck to you and your baby! Try not to worry. (I know impossible, right?) But you have gotten a lot of great encouragement from other moms who have delt with similar situations and no horror stories.

At 26 weeks, I had to have the shot because of pre-term labor but my son stayed put until 36 weeks (tied to the bed except to use the bathroom).

So keep plugging away (pun intended) and keep your baby in there as long as possible because each day makes a difference, and yes the steroids will help.

What you do have control over though is which vaccines/shots your baby should get. Whatever you do, DO NOT get any shots in the hospital when your baby is born nor any for at least the first six months until YOU have done the research on vaccinations for YOUR child. With having a baby born early, their immune system is even less ready than ones born at 40 weeks. The AAP recommended schedule of shots for children is too many, too soon. Here are sites and books that I always recommend for people to start their research:

www.909shot.com
www.tacanow.org
www.generationrescue.com

The Vaccine Book, by Dr. Robert Sears
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations, by Dr. Stephanie Cave
Evidence of Harm, by David Kirby
Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders, by Dr. Kenneth Bock

I was given steroids almost 15 years ago when I was 6 months pegnant and my baby thought she wanted to come at that time I really didn't question anything because I was willing to do anything and everything to have my daughter. She did end up going 19 days overdue and induced and 24 hours of labor so it ended up not being needed but if she had come early I believe it would have given her a fighting chance. We knew she had a cyst in her chest at that time and got operated to take it out at birth but was completely healthy until 18 months when her chest caved in and we thought it was because of the cyst and the doctor said it was not, just a fluke. It ended up being pectus excavatum and she got operated once again then at 13 it happened again so after her third surgery she continues to be a happy healthy kid and I really don't think those problems had anything to do with the steriods and anyone that sees her and doesn't know her story are amazed at all she has been through because they would have never figured that because she has always been in sports and very active. Best of luck to you and your baby.

Hey A. : )

Congratulations on the little one! It is great that the baby is healthy, that is the most important thing!

I had steroids for lung development 24 years ago, when my little one was 20-28 weeks old. We managed to develop them enough that there were no major problems! He was born at 28-1/2 weeks! There were no complications for either of us with the steroids. My son was so young, he took a while to complete his lung development, and his very early birth led to delayed development. We were very lucky that there were no other complications, as he was in oxygen for a long time before he stabilized.

Good news is, he is healthy, is rarely ill, is 6 ft. 2 inches now, and a great young man at 24 years old.

Hope everything goes as well for you!

My on was induced early because of complications. they did not give me steroids... and i did not know to ask for them. as a result my son was on a ventilator and was in the NICU. If there is any reason to think you might have your child early... do the steroids.

I did not have any side effects nor did my baby. I had to take them for precautionary measures and other than being tiny (4lbs) she came out healthy and strong. The only side effect I had was the soreness that I got after they gave me the shot. It was as if someone had punched my arms and it would go a little numb so I was glad I had someone to drive me because it did hurt. The nurse did tell me that this shot hurts. I had to go twice a day, morning and late afternoon, for 2 days.

The doctor gave me the steroid shot 3x in the previous 3 weeks to our sons birth. We were very happy when our son was born at 32 weeks, 1lb. 6oz, and breathing on his own. He stayed in the NICU for a while. He's now 13 and very healthy. The Steroid also helps for eye sight, which is also an issue for premies. The negative effect it had on me was that it made me extremely hungry all the time. All in all, I'd definitely recommend getting the steroid shots.

My baby boy was born at 32 weeks last april. my water broke on saturday and i went to the hospital. they wanted to try to keep the baby in as long as possible so they put me on strict bedrest and gave me the lung injection that day. On Sunday, they gave me a second shot for his lungs. They were fearful of the worst, being only 32 weeks. They had stopped my contractions up until Tuesday, and after that said if my contractions continued, they would let me labor and deliver. Tuesday at 9:30 pm, my little guy was born- and we all held our breath to see how he was, and if he would cry. The NICU team was ready & in the room waiting for him.

He came out SCREAMING so loudly and it was the best sound my husband and i have ever heard. He was absolutley perfect. 4 lbs 13 oz & 17 & 1/4 inches... Tiny but perfect!

He was in the NICU for 21 days, never on a ventilator, never on oxygen and no complications. He was only in the NICU for so long so that he could learn to regulate his temperature on his own and feed well without tiring.

He is almost 1 year old- and healthy as can be! I had no adverse reactions myself, and as you can see, neither did my baby!!

Congrats and good luck! Hope my response brings you some peace and was helpful~

I too had steroids for my son.. The drs were scared that he was going to come out early, so they gave them to me as a precaution... The shot its self hurt, not the most pleasent thing, my bf told me i was grumpy after the dr gave it to me. I had to get 2 shots. Also you grow a little more hair than usaul. But no big deal it just goes away. But those were the only side affects for me. And as for the baby, none. My son was perfectly fine. He only needed to be on oxygen for 3 days, and then got to be on room air for the rest of the time he was in the nicu.
Hopes this helps :]

I had ZERO side effects and my triplets made it to 35 weeks. They were breathing perfectly and had NO NICU time! Please do it!

I'm sure that their will be some discomfort for you with the steriod shot. My oldest daughter had to have this done twice. He son was 4-weeks early & she'd spent 3-4 weeks in the hospital with toxemia. Which got worse knowing they were going to have to induce her they gave the steriod shot to develop hislungs. He i now a healty 13 1/2 yr old. His sister was delivered 7-8 weeks early because my daughter started leaking all the fluid out.So she also had the steriod shot to develop her lungs. She is 10 & healthy. The worse for my daughter was the dry birth.

A. M,
Please don't worry, there are no side effects. I had this steroid injection at about 30 weeks. I had a little bleeding and a swap test resulted in possible early delivery. My OBG suggested the injection for lung development and we went with it. My delivery was on time and my baby is now 9 months and completely healthy. The injections were given to me at the hospital, I received 2 a few days apart and they can be a bit painful, but nothing compared to labor. Good luck!

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