Meconium and Complications During Labor


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What is MECONIUM? Baby bowel movement before birth

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What is Meconium and why babies pass it before birth? Dr Piyush Jain

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One of the concerns, when there is meconium present in the amniotic fluid, is that the baby will aspirate the meconium during labor or birth. This aspiration of meconium is dealt with by vigorous suctioning immediately upon the birth of your baby’s head, even before the body is born. This can lessen the amount of meconium available for your baby to aspirate. Your baby may then breathe the meconium and amniotic fluid mixture into their lungs shortly before, during, or right after birth.

This is known as meconium aspiration or meconium aspiration. Meconium staining of the amniotic fluid is a common occurrence during labour and although a large proportion of these pregnancies will have a normal neonatal outcome, its presence may be an indicator of fetal hypoxia and has been linked to the development of cerebral palsy, seizures and meconium aspiration syndrome. If the amniotic fluid is greenish or brown in color, fetal meconium may be present, which is normally passed after birth as the baby’s first bowel movement.

Meconium in the amniotic fluid may be associated with fetal distress. Giving oxygen to the mother, changing her position, and giving her more fluids are just some of the solutions to this problem. Also, when the unborn baby moves his bowel in the womb, this can be a cause for a complication during labor and deliveryas the. Cord or head compression during labor can cause a vagally mediated gastrointestinal peristalsis response, which causes a baby to empty their bowels in utero. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the baby is in distress but will and should be monitored by your health care practitioner.

What Is Meconium Aspiration?Complications of labor include. premature rupture of membranes, precipitous labor, preterm labor, secondary arrest of labor, meconium, abnormal lie (position of the fetus), and. rupture. Fetal distress during labor causes intestinal contractions, as well as relaxation of the anal sphincter, which allows meconium to pass into the amniotic fluid and contaminate the amniotic fluid. Meconium passage into the amniotic fluid occurs in about 5-20 percent of all births and is more common in overdue births.

Most babies who have passed meconium into the amniotic fluid do not breathe it into their lungs during labor and delivery. They are unlikely to have any symptoms or problems. Babies who do breathe in this fluid may have the followin. It’s important to know if your baby has been exposed to meconium to prevent severe breathing problems. A procedure called amnioinfusion may be used during labor if you have meconium-stained amniotic fluid.

During this procedure, your healthcare provider puts a small tube into your uterus through the vagina.

List of related literature:

Normal meconium will not be passed.

“Holcomb and Ashcraft's Pediatric Surgery E-Book” by George W. Holcomb, J. Patrick Murphy, Shawn D. St Peter
from Holcomb and Ashcraft’s Pediatric Surgery E-Book
by George W. Holcomb, J. Patrick Murphy, Shawn D. St Peter
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2019

Meconium presence and aspiration are noted in many cases.

“Clinical Maternal-Fetal Medicine” by Hung N. Winn, John C. Hobbins
from Clinical Maternal-Fetal Medicine
by Hung N. Winn, John C. Hobbins
Taylor & Francis, 2000

Meconium aspiration can cause significant pulmonary complications; however, the timing of aspiration is now understood to primarily occur prenatally, not postnatally.

“Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care E-Book” by Brian K. Walsh
from Neonatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care E-Book
by Brian K. Walsh
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2018

There is nothing in the history to suggest the likelihood that there will be a finding of meconium at delivery.

“Certification and Core Review for Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing E-Book” by AACN, AWHONN, NANN, Robin L. Watson
from Certification and Core Review for Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing E-Book
by AACN, AWHONN, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2012

Meconium may be injurious because of its effects on the umbilical circulation.

“Pathology of the Human Placenta” by Kurt Benirschke, Peter Kaufmann
from Pathology of the Human Placenta
by Kurt Benirschke, Peter Kaufmann
Springer New York, 2013

Meconium can cause two problems: a depressed newborn and airway obstruction.

“Advanced Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured” by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
from Advanced Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured
by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2010

The meconium is inspissated and causes intestinal obstruction.

“A Practice of Anesthesia for Infants and Children” by Charles J. Coté, Jerrold Lerman, I. David Todres
from A Practice of Anesthesia for Infants and Children
by Charles J. Coté, Jerrold Lerman, I. David Todres
Saunders/Elsevier, 2009

The consistency of normal meconium is fairly constant.

“Handbook of Pediatric Autopsy Pathology” by Enid Gilbert-Barness, Diane E. Spicer, Thora S. Steffensen
from Handbook of Pediatric Autopsy Pathology
by Enid Gilbert-Barness, Diane E. Spicer, Thora S. Steffensen
Springer New York, 2013

Intrauterine passage of meconium is unusual before 36 weeks and does not typically occur for several days after preterm delivery.

“Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice E-Book” by Robert Resnik, Robert K. Creasy, Jay D. Iams, Charles J. Lockwood, Thomas Moore, Michael F Greene, Lesley Frazier
from Creasy and Resnik’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice E-Book
by Robert Resnik, Robert K. Creasy, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2008

Risk also increases in term infants when additional complications such as maternal infection, diabetes, hypertension, or meconium are present.

“Critical Care Transport” by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), UMBC
from Critical Care Transport
by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), UMBC
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2017

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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  • Bit triggering. I had meconium in my womb during delivery and after 3+ days of contractions, 13 hours in hospital and over 3 hours of actively pushing, neither me or the little man could do much more. I was tired and woozy on gas and air and I had all these doctors etc in my room telling me I needed to get forceps now. Thankfully the lil man was ok but i took a fever and to get a course of antibiotics and kept in for 4 days. Scary how quickly things can go wrong. So thankful for our NHS.

  • What language do they speak? I hear some english words, but I can’t understand the whole phrases and sentences. What country is this?

  • Hello, you can follow up a case in Lima Perú? Can you could recommend me a doctor that could certify mal praxis here in Lima? My baby haves in a Clinic this syndrome and they didn’t do anything.

  • This story hits home.. when I had my first son in 2016 I remember being in my motel room with yellow/mustard coloured stuff coming out of me so i rang the hospital straight away. They put me straught on the drip to regulate my contractions because he needed to be out sooner then later. His heart rate would sit at 160 but as soon as id have a contraction it was dropping down to 50. And like this lady I was on the gas so I didnt fully comprehend what was going on I just remember all these Doctors coming in and i remember hearing emergency c section blah blah blah but thankfully i dilated to a 10 and have a vaginal birth but i couldnt get skin to skin, they had to take him straight to NICU and I had to wait a good few hours or so before I could go see him. Being my first it was very scary. My hubby had to leave the room a few times and cry. He said seeing you in so much pain and knowing our little man wasnt coping was to much for me. And now my baby is 4 next month!

  • Thank you so much for your videos! Is there any way you could add some visuals to your videos such as graphs or a whiteboard? I am a very visual learner.

  • Can I ask what causes bloody amniotic fluid? If it helps with context, my baby had severe variable decelerations and my uterus was contracting non stop and not relaxing. They said they suspect my placenta tore away too soon, but didn’t give me a diagnosis of abruption, but they said antepartum hemorrhage. I pushed because they didn’t have time to get us in for an emergency Csection. It came on very suddenly. I was having normal contractions then suddenly it started contracting out of control. I was 7-8 when I got to the hospital and stayed 7-8 for 12 hours. He was resuscitated and it took the NICU close to 20 minutes to stabilize my son. He was born with a heart rate of 60 bpm, his oxygen was 67% my blood pressure dropped to 90/60, and the doctor had to get on the bed to help maneuver him out while a nurse pushed on my belly. I just want to understand what happened. I was very fortunate and got to bring my baby home.

  • This video was very useful, thank you. It would be great if you could go into a little more detail about how meconium is formed (where it comes from and why.)

  • Hello Nurse Cathy. which one do we do first because i had a question on proplased cord and the two intervention were there. lift the presenting part and knee to chest position. I was confused did not know which one to pick because two answers are correct and we are only allow to pick one. it was not SATA

  • Did you hear the trick about rubbing in some coconut oil on a new baby’s bottom? It’s a good one. I like this smaller bottle to pop in you bag for birth

  • Our grand daughter born emergency C section/ Meconium. Was in NICU for a week, Antibiotics. 9lbs 7ozs. She got discharged from hospital is healthy & home with her parents! God Bless!

  • This happened to me with my first child….had him 1 week overdue. Thing is…I was dilated to 3 the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy. I walked 3 miles per day and the doc said that was some of it but it was mostly genetics. Entire labor with my first child from the first contraction to birth was 2 hours 20 minutes. ������ NO pain relief or epidural because I dilated too quickly.