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HealthInfo Canterbury

Magnesium sulphate before premature birth

Premature birth is quite common. About 10% of babies are born before 37 weeks, and about 1% of babies are born before 30 weeks, which is classified as very premature.

Premature babies – especially very premature babies – have a higher risk of lifelong problems such as cerebral palsy. But when a very premature birth is expected, giving magnesium sulphate to the mother decreases the chance of the baby having cerebral palsy.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. July 2016.

Page reference: 288757

Review key: HIGIB-113323