DOULA+INFLUENCER+ADVOCATE

Photography Puget Sound Doulas

When Baby Passes Meconium In Utero

Meconium is your baby’s first bowel movement.

 What is in meconium? 

How common is passing meconium in utero?

Is it absolutely dangerous?


🍫 Meconium is made of materials ingested during the time the infant spends in the uterus, like intestinal epithelial cells, lanugo, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile, & water.
🍫About 10-20% of babies will pass meconium while in utero and there's usually no need for worry as meconium itself is harmless and usually babies can pass it while in the womb and have no bad outcomes.
🍫If meconium is present, the cascade of interventions may begin to speed up delivery, which increases the chances of bad outcomes.  Once the baby is born,  more than likely, the cord will be cut prematurely then handed over to a pediatrician to do further suctioning & assessment(👈🏻this can do more harm than good)
🍫Your care provider can see meconium as a sign of fetal distress(it's not)  & his biggest worry is that the fetus will aspirate the meconium & end up with MAS(meconium aspiration syndrome iswhen the baby inhales the meconium into their lungs)which can cause breathing problems & infections. The chance of this happening to a baby that has passed meconium in utero is 2-5%. THATS 2-5% OF THE 10-20%. THE CHANCE OF YOUR BABY DYING FROM MAS IS EXTREMELY RARE & LESS THAN 1%.
🍫Interventions taken to prevent MAS are actually more harmful to the fetus than the meconium itself & there is no evidence proving that babies who pass meconium in utero are actually in distress.  It’s actually more of a sign of a mature digestive system.


✅HOW CAN WE BETTER HANDLE MECONIUM✅
➖Meconium without any other risk factors is not a need to act as if baby is in immediate danger.
➖Keeping the waters intact will keep meconium diluted in the amniotic fluid.
➖Stay up and moving around during labor.  Reducing mothers movement during labor can reduce oxygen to the baby which causes their intestines to move and the anal phincter to relax.   This can cause baby to pass meconium.
➖Inducing labor & directed pushing increases the chance of MAS instead of helping it.  
➖If we are so worried about fetus inhaling meconium, why are we deep suctioning the baby right away? Suctioning causes the baby to take deep breaths, further inhaling the meconium.
➖Cutting the cord right away also forces the baby to take deep breaths, inhaling the meconium even further.
➖Allowing the baby time to birth itself allows good chest compression to expel fluid & meconium


Meconium can be a normal event without a need for interventions or worry! 

SHIT HAPPENS!