I have always wondered if stopping preterm labor was the right thing to do or not. With my last pregnancy, I began to have contractions at about six months, and a few weeks later was given a shot to stop the contractions. Let me tell you this, the shot HURTS. I was told it is acidic and it burns as it is being given. That is a little secret that no one tells you about, but it feels like a hot piece of metal being placed against your skin.
Recently there have been studies conducted and published in the British Medical Journal regarding the use of tocolytics to stop delivery for up to 48 hours. During the time that contractions are delayed, doctors are able to give steroids to help develop the lungs of the unborn child. Of the women that were studied, many that were given tocolytics did not have any complications, but a few with the multi-drug regimen did have problems. Due to the still unknown effects, further studies are being conducted. Professor Roger Smith, who is the director of the Mothers and Babies Research Center at the Hunter Medical Research Institute in Newcastle, Australia, states that “after 30 years of research we still do not know whether tocolysis benefits the fetus.”
Although it has always been said that keeping a baby inside for longer is better, this may not be true. There is enough conflicting information and study results to question this theory.