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The effect of antenatal corticosteroid therapy and planned caesarean section on maternal and neonatal glucose control

Liggins Institute

About the Project

Birth by planned caesarean section at term or late preterm after 35 weeks gestation increases the risk of neonatal respiratory morbidity.

Use of maternal antenatal corticosteroids in women undergoing planned caesarean section at term or late preterm is supported by findings of improved neonatal respiratory morbidity in a limited number of randomised trials but may increase the risk of neonatal hypoglycaemia which may lead to adverse childhood consequences.

We are undertaking a large multicentre placebo-controlled trial to assess both the neonatal benefit and harm of maternal corticosteroid use prior to planned caesarean section at ≥35+0 to 39+6 weeks.

To date there is little known on the effects of corticosteroids on maternal glycaemic control or on glycaemic control in their babies. This project will be integrated into the randomised trial and will involve in depth assessment of the effects of corticosteroids and planned caesarean section on maternal and neonatal glucose control.


- To perform continuous glucose monitoring in women and their babies after the administration of betamethasone or placebo prior to planned caesarean section at >35+0 to 39+6 weeks.

- To determine the relationship between maternal and neonatal glycaemic control with and without antenatal corticosteroid use and neonatal outcomes.

- If your application is successful you will also gain knowledge and experience working in a large and well established clinical trials research group.

What we are looking for in a successful applicant:

- We are looking for candidates with a degree in a health-related discipline and a clinical background.

- Examples include (but are not limited to) obstetrics, neonatology, nursing, midwifery, nutrition and dietetics, paediatrics and medicine.

Funding Notes

Scholarships are available for this project and can be discussed with your potential supervisor.

There are no international fees for PhD students: as long as you live in New Zealand during your period of enrolment you will pay the same as New Zealanders.

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