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Is it safe to give a steroid injection during pregnancy?

Q: My 33 years old wife is 31 weeks pregnant. The doctor said that she has the excessive fluid in the uterus and have Polyhydramnios (AFI is 30 cm). The doctor also told us that there could be a chance of premature delivery. To give more strength to the baby, she advised to take Betnesol 3 amp injection in a week 2 times with a gap of 12 hours. And also told that this should be taken every week till the time of delivery. We have come to know that Betnesol is a steroid. Is it normal to give this type of injection in this situation? Will this cause any problem to the baby and mother?

A:The problem of polyhydramnios needs to be dealt in more depth than just steroid injections - which are given if pains are imminent and twice only (two weeks). The cause for the excess fluid needs to be found - is it an abnormality in the baby, or is it diabetes in the mother - or is there an infection or placental abnormality. Tests for these have to be done, like blood sugars, blood and urine cultures, vaginal swab culture and ultrasound. In as many as 30% cases there is no cause found. The treatment is mainly by bed rest to reduce liquor formation and treatment of the cause. It can get aggravated enough to cause breathing difficulty, in which case some liquor may also need to be drained out by a simple needle insertion and removing the excess liquor under ultrasound guidance. Try to be delivered in a good centre with a good scanning facility and nursery.

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