The prime factor for insufficient surfactant production and pulmonary immaturity is birth of a new-born before reaching the term. Objectives: The current study is to estimate the effect of antenatal steroid administration to women before anticipated preterm labor and to assess the importance of corticosteroids for preventing neonatal mortality due to preterm birth complications. Materials and Methods: A prospective observational study on women at high risk of preterm delivery between 24 and 37 weeks of gestation were included in the study and Pregnancies complicated by congenital anomalies, chromosomal abnormalities, or multifetal gestation and women expected to deliver in less than 12 hr for any reason was excluded. Results: Eighteen women (90%) received betamethasone and two (10%) received dexamethasone. Fifteen women (75%) received a complete course of antenatal steroids; five (25%) woman received one of a planned two-dose course of betamethasone. The most common reason for exclusion was the expectation that delivery would occur within 24 hr which was determined in 8 of 30 women who did not meet the eligibility criteria. Length of hospital stay for most of the infants was between 3–5 days but few discharged after 5 days. The discharged days were extended due to feeding problem. Conclusion: In this study we concluded that betamethasone was the most common antenatal steroid prescribed among the steroids to women before anticipated preterm labor and also we found that with the use of antenatal steroids at the right time, the neonatal death rates can be reduced.
Key words: Antenatal corticosteroids, Preterm labor, Pulmonary immaturity, Neonatal mortality, Length of hospital stay.