Steroid Shot for Lung Development

Updated on June 22, 2010
M.M. asks from Murrieta, CA
13 answers

I have been on semi-bedrest since I was about 26 weeks for having contracations, not dilating just contractions! I was in and out of the hospital for 2 weeks having to go in for contractions and was given medications to stop them! Well I am now on meds at home however my dr is planning on giving me a steroid shot when I am 31 weeks for the babies lungs just in case he is early! Keep in mind my 1st baby was 6 weeks early so there is a chance this one will come early too! I was just wondering if any of you had steroid shots for lung development and if it was beneficial to your baby if your baby was early??? I am a little nervous about getting it!!!

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answers from Honolulu on

Aloha, Yes I had my daughter 2 months early and thats exactley what they did for her lungs as well, I had 2 steriod shots in each hip to help her lungs but she was still in ICU for 3 weeks but no machines hooked up to her lunngs, so it did help.

good luck

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answers from Kalamazoo on

I agree getting the shot is a great idea! I was given my first one when I was only 26 weeks along. I then had another at 33 weeks, one day before my twins were born. My son was given oxygen for less than 24 hours and my daughter didn't need any at all.

I believe that with out them their tiny little lungs may not have been fully developed at birth. Good luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I'm was a NICU nurse before I had my kiddos. Here's my 2 cents.
Having a premie is a big deal and a 34 weeker is a whole different ballgame than having 28 weeker. Here's what I have seen:
Babies of moms that are at high risk for prematurity and have the steroid shot preventatively seem to have a less complicated hospital course than those who do not or those who would have gotten the shot but did not have enough time before delivery. They generally spend less time on respiratory support (ventilators) than those who don't have the steroids. This is a big deal because ventilators can be very tough on babies lungs - even vents designed for babies - and can cause damage to their lungs that is irreversible. (Google: "bronchopulmonary dysplasia" aka BPD for more info on this.) Likewise, the added oxygen that is needed when babies lungs are underdeveloped can cause problems with their eye development. (Google: "retinopathy of prematurity" aka ROP for more info on this.) Risk for BPD and ROP alone would be enough to convince me to get the shot if I were in your shoes. There are other things that factor favorably and unfavorably in the outcome and some things can be done to help munchkin even if you decide not to (or don't have time to) have the shots. However, in my experience those things were less effective than the steroids.
That being said, having the shots does not mean there can't be other problems, nor that you are entirely out of the woods with these problems. It just reduces your chances. (Kind of like strapping kiddos in a car seat reduces the chance they would be seriously hurt in a car crash but doesn't eliminate the possibility altogether.) But given the options, I'd rather do what I can to protect them.
If you're still concerned, I would write down what EXACTLY is concerning you about the shots and discuss it with your doctor and another doctor if you don't feel they were as forthcoming with the answers as you would like. This is definitely an issue of "informed consent" and it is your job to make sure you have all the information you need to make the best choice. The doctors cannot give the shot to you without your consent but you should definitely know all the possible benefits and drawbacks before you sign on the bottom line.
Best wishes that this whole discussion is completely hypothetical and you carry a healthy kiddo to term.



answers from Los Angeles on

I had steroid shots because my baby girl was going to be delivered early. I had absolutely no side affects and when she was born at 34 weeks, she had no lung issues.




answers from Kansas City on

Go for it gal, i was given one when i was 25 weeks pregnant and my daughter was born at 28 weeks weighing 2lbs. She will be 3yrs in August and the only breathing problem she has had, was this year when she had pneumia. Good luck to you and know what you're going thru right now, it's not easy having a preemie baby. God Bless



answers from San Diego on

Both of my girls were four weeks early. My first one didn't get any shot and she was perfectly fine when she was born. I was put on bedrest at the hospital at 30 weeks with my second one and got the shot then. She had some difficulty breathing when she was born and was in ICU for three days. Other than that, she was doing great. Try to relax. Stress won't do you good. Good luck!



answers from Gainesville on

With all due respect to the other poster, you are talking about helping a premature baby stay off a ventilator, high levels of oxygen and such with the use of steroids. Moms are not given high dose steroids or given them long-term. High-dose and long term use can have serious side effects yes, but that it not what we are talking about to aid in lung development.

I was in the hospital 2 different times with my son. He ended up being born 8 weeks early (32 weeks exactly) and I was given 2 doses of steroids several hours apart at around 30 weeks. And that's all. It hurt but well worth it.

And I can tell you it may a tremendous difference in what could have been. My son was what they lovingly refer to as wimpy white boys lol. Premature white baby boys have the hardest time. My son was on the vent for less than 24 hours and on a cpap for less than 24 hours. Really, really good for a 32 week baby boy! My son did amazingly well for a 32 weeker.

Best to you and baby!



answers from Sherman on

I also had the steroid shot at 32 weeks. It gave me the shakes and I lost weight because I lost my appetite from being so jittery, but no oxygen for my sweet baby when she was born a few weeks later.


answers from San Francisco on

I would ask another opinion (another doctor's opinion).

I can't tell you what to do but, personally I would stay away for steroids...they might help at the moment, but the effect on other organs (like tendons), yours and you baby's, can be really bad.

My 2 cents.



answers from Chicago on

I had to get the steroid shot when I was pregnant with my twin girls. They ended up being born at almost 36 weeks. Thet are 8 yrs old now, and no adverse effect to them or me.



answers from St. Louis on

My daughter was born premature at 32 weeks she was given the shot. Doing GREAT at 21 yrs now. Your Dr. know whats best in this instance, go for it. Better to be safe. God Bless your newest addition.



answers from San Francisco on

Dear Heart, as the mother of 5 who had to stay on bedrest my heart goes out to you. My daughter in law is in a simular position but hasn't had to do this yet.
I have asthma and get medication and injections that help my lungs so I can see that it would help your sweet baby as well.
I am sure that your doctor will use every caution possible and that your baby will be watched carefully. Hope that you are getting help from family, friends and church with your other needs of the other child andhome.
I will keep you in my prayers. Hope that all goes well .
God Bless, Nana Glenda



answers from San Diego on

My son was born at 31 weeks and had the steriod shot for his lungs. It's a must! My sons lungs were perfect and he was 9 weeks early.

Good luck and don't worry too much :)

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