Because the degree of lung development is critical for premature babies, your doctor may prescribe a steroid drug (betamethasone or dexamethasone) that can stimulate fetal lung development before delivery. Steroids reduce the risk of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and bleeding in the brain (intracranial hemorrhage, or ICH). Studies have proven this drug to work in many cases of premature birth, and doctors agree that most women who deliver premature babies (usually less than 33 to 34 weeks gestation) should receive steroids unless there is a compelling reason not to administer the drug.

Initially, it wasn't clear whether steroids were helpful in PPROM, However, a recent review of several studies found significant benefits and no increase in risk of infection for mothers or infants. Most doctors currently recommend that all patients with PPROM before 32 weeks receive steroids. After 32 weeks, if your baby's lungs are not mature, your doctor will probably recommend steroids.