They are mostly used in pregnancy. It does not harm the child and the mother. It is usually given to bear the stress of the labour pains. It is used to prevent osteoporosis. They are transferred in small amounts to the baby in breast milk.
When pregnant women are given steroid injections, the medication travels to the baby’s body and lungs through their bloodstream and develop baby’s lungs. This gives many preterm babies a much better chance of survival. Cortisol is produced in the fetus in the late stages of pregnancy to help the lungs develop, preparing the baby for life outside the womb. Synthetic glucocorticoids, which replicate the effects of natural cortisol, are given in anticipation of preterm birth to reduce the risk of these problems.