How can obstetricians improve outcomes for infants born extremely preterm?

Semin Perinatol. 2021 Dec;45(8):151477. doi: 10.1016/j.semperi.2021.151477. Epub 2021 Aug 21.


Prematurity remains a leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality, and also has significant implications for long-term health. Obstetricians have a key role to play in improving outcomes for infants born at extremely preterm gestations. This review explores the evidence for interventions available to obstetricians caring for women at risk of birthing at extremely preterm gestations, including antenatal corticosteroids, magnesium sulfate, tocolysis and antibiotics. It also addresses the importance of strategies to facilitate safe in-utero transfer, to maximise the chance of extremely preterm births occurring in tertiary centers, and the clinical value of strategies by which preterm birth can be predicted. The paper concludes with an appraisal of evidence for different modes of birth at extremely preterm gestations, and for delayed cord clamping.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Extremely Premature*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Parturition
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth* / prevention & control
  • Tocolysis
  • Umbilical Cord Clamping