What is meconium? Well, it is the poop your baby passes while still in utero (while still in your uterus). In many cases, it does not do any harm to your baby, but there is a one to four or five percent chance that it will. Even though this is such a small percentage, like other Texas parents, you probably think even that small chance is enough to take action.
Your obstetrician should take action to ensure that your baby doesn't suffer from meconium aspiration syndrome, which when your baby inhales his or her first stool into the lungs. This can cause your baby to have trouble breathing. Without adequate oxygen, your baby could suffer from MAS, cerebral palsy or seizures.
What happens when your baby suffers from meconium aspiration?
Your infant's lungs may not be able to fully expand, which can lead to difficulty breathing. The fetus can breathe in the meconium prior to birth, and if he or she is in some distress, it could end up in the lungs. After birth, it could end up in the lungs when your baby instinctively takes his or her first breaths.
The prevailing theories on what causes MAS is that the baby either suffers from anoxia, which means the baby isn't receiving any oxygen, or hypoxia, which means the baby does not receive enough oxygen. This causes the baby to gasp for air and to breathe in the meconium.
What causes your baby to pass his or her first stool in utero?
Research indicates that the following circumstances could cause this:
- If your baby fails to receive enough oxygen while in utero, he or she could poop.
- The most common reason why a baby passes his or her first stool before birth is that the digestive tract is mature and it is just time.
- If your baby's head or the umbilical cord is compressed, he or she could pass the first stool prior to birth.
The problem is that there is no way to tell before your water breaks, or birth, that the baby has passed the first stool. If your water breaks and evidence exists, your doctor should diligently monitor your baby for signs of fetal distress. After birth, several signs should indicate to your doctor that your baby has inhaled meconium.
A doctor's failure to act right away could lead to your baby suffering serious harm. If the evidence indicates that your baby suffered from MAS and your doctor failed to take the property steps to correct the problem, you may want to consider taking legal action.