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HealthInfo Canterbury

Magnesium sulphate before premature birth

Magnesium sulphate is something we all need so our bodies can function normally.

Premature babies – especially very premature babies – have a higher risk of lifelong problems such as cerebral palsy. But when a very premature birth (before 30 weeks) is expected, giving magnesium sulphate to the mother decreases the chance of the baby having cerebral palsy.

At the moment there isn't enough evidence that it helps for babies born after 30 weeks, but more research into this is happening.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by midwife liaison, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed June 2018.

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Page reference: 288757

Review key: HIPRE-439454