So, the question is what is meconium? For some mothers, they might notice a discolored substance in their water when it breaks. In other instances, mothers might notice a discolored substance on the baby at delivery. The point of today’s talk is to discuss this substance, meconium. Not all babies will have this substance, but under some circumstances, some will be impacted.
What Is Meconium?
Meconium is essentially your baby’s stool, or a bowel movement. It can present in multiple colors. For example, it can be greenish in color, yellowish in color, or brownish/black in color, etc… As to what can cause a baby to pass it can vary based on the literature.
For example, some information states that a baby will pass meconium when it is stressed. The cause of the stress can vary. As an example, when a baby is past its expected due date, certain stressors can arise. Other things which can cause stressors on a baby in some cases are:
- High blood pressure for mom
- An older mother
- A long labor or difficult delivery
- Diabetes/gestational diabetes
Decreased Oxygen Stress & Meconium…
When a baby suffers from a reduction in oxygen, or a cut off of oxygen, stress on the baby can occur. This can be especially problematic when meconium is present at the time the water breaks and the substance is in the water. As a matter of fact, some hospitals will automatically have the NICU on standby when there is a report of meconium present.
Oxygen problems in some instances will lead to the passing of meconium. During labor and delivery, doctors and nurses can use the electronic fetal heart monitor to gauge how well a baby is doing during labor. If certain non-reassuring readings are present during labor and delivery, coupled with meconium early in the water, doctors and nurses must be ready to intervene and help the baby as needed.
Thanks for reading, from your friends at HIE Resource Place.