Corticosteroids before planned caesarean section from 35+0 to 39+6 weeks of pregnancy
In New Zealand, more than 15,000 babies are born by caesarean section (CS) each year and rates continue to rise. Planned CS poses some risk to babies, in particular, the need for admission to the neonatal unit (NNU) for breathing support which means mothers are separated from their baby.
When given to mothers expecting a preterm birth, corticosteroid injections save babies’ lives and improve neonatal and childhood health. Many clinicians therefore now prescribe these injections before a planned CS at or near term even though there has been limited research about this. As well as benefits these injections may lower blood sugar levels in babies and so possibly cause harm. This trial aims to find out whether giving mothers corticosteroid injections before planned CS birth at 35+0 to 39+6 weeks can safely reduce the risk of breathing problems for babies.
Sites: Auckland (more New Zealand sites are currently in set up)