32 to 34 weeks gestation

Last reviewed 01/2018

  • this is the time at which lung becomes fully mature
  • these babies require temperature regulation and glucose, and they may require ventilation - CPAP
  • best managed in the special care baby unit
  • in the past amniocentesis was performed, from which the lecthin/sphingomycin ratio was measured - this is more rarely done these days but it does give a clearer idea of the maturity of the lungs
  • lung maturity at this stage is borderline; maternal steroid therapy will promote normal surfactant production