The very first stool of your baby is meconium called. In most cases you see this stool when you change the diaper of your new son or daughter for the first time. But it can also happen that your baby in the womb already has the first stool. In most cases this can not hurt, but when your baby inhales amniotic fluid with meconium, it can become dangerous. Read more about meconium, meconium aspiration syndrome and meconium in the amniotic fluid.
What is meconium?
The first stool that leaves the body of your little is called meconium. Other names are also child's bacon or intestinal pitch. This name owes it to the fact that meconium looks deep black, sticky and shiny. This first stool consists of amniotic fluid with waste that your baby swallowed in the womb.
Meconium in amniotic fluid
It can happen that your baby poops into the amniotic fluid. Your amniotic fluid will then have a green color. Your baby can also have a greenish haze instead of a white haze. Meconium in the amniotic fluid hardly occurs in a premature birth. It sometimes occurs in 5 to 15 of the full-term pregnancies.
Are you over the 40 weeks pregnancy, then the chances are that your little one must already defecate before birth, namely 20%. In principle, it is not bad that there is meconium in the amniotic fluid. It is rather a sign that your child's bowel is already working well.
However, doctors will keep a close eye on everything when it appears that meconium is present in the amniotic fluid as it may cause dangers in the delivery, especially if your baby breathes the substance. This usually happens when your baby suffers from oxygen deprivation during birth. Are your membranes breaking and do you see that the amniotic fluid has a green / brown color? Then contact your midwife immediately so that they can take action in the event that meconium aspiration syndrome occurs.
Meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS)
Meconium aspiration syndrome means that your baby poops into the amniotic fluid and then inhales this amniotic fluid with meconium. This usually happens when the fetus is in distress at a late birth. Other causes may be: umbilical cord complications, a chronic condition or a small baby. Since the first stool is quite tough and sticky it can block the airways. In some cases, the lungs expand and eventually rupture and / or collapse. Also, the meconium aspiration syndrome can cause irritation to the airways and lungs.
Treatment of meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS)
The syndrome occurs in 3 to 20 of the infants who have pooped into the amniotic fluid. When only a small amount of the first stool has been inhaled, the damage is limited and the baby can already be helped with extra oxygen.
In severe cases, the mouth and pharynx are sucked out immediately after birth. In children who have weak breathing and slow heartbeat, the meconium is also sucked out of the lower trachea.
It can happen that your baby is also intubated (tube in the trachea) to protect the airway. In addition, antibiotics are sometimes administered and physical therapy is performed for the breast. After these treatments your child will be monitored for another 8 to 24 hours because in some cases the breathing problems will occur later. This means that your baby still has to stay in the hospital.