Addressing Critical Knowledge Gaps in Newborn Health

Antenatal Corticosteroids

Complications of prematurity are the largest cause of newborn death worldwide, claiming nearly one million lives annually. When preterm delivery is imminent, the administration of antenatal corticosteroids (ACS) can help the fetal lungs to rapidly mature and, within the context of high quality care, improve chances of survival. Recently released findings from a large study in six low and middle income countries, however, call into question the safety and effectiveness of ACS in settings where such standards of care are not met. Access the Lancet article here and read more about the findings in a brief from the ACS Technical Working Group. The World Health Organization is convening an extraordinary consultation of a preterm guidelines expert review committee in the near future, and is expected to provide new guidance taking into account this new evidence.

The following collection of resources is designed to help inform the appropriate use of antenatal corticosteroids around the world.

For questions or information not found on this resource page, please email the Antenatal Corticosteroids Working Group at

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