An infant’s risk of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome was lowered if a woman took certain steroids more than 34 weeks into her pregnancy, according to data published in The BMJ.

The researchers also found that a single dose of corticosteroids could be beneficial for women at risk for premature delivery between 34 weeks and 36 weeks, 6 days gestation, and for women undergoing a planned cesarean delivery 37 weeks gestation or later.

“Women [in these time frames] … should be counseled by the doctors about the availability of steroids to decrease the risk of lung disease in their neonates,” Vincent Berghella, MD, of the department of obstetrics and gynecology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, told Healio Family Medicine.