It may be an unfamiliar term, but meconium is the name given to your baby’s first poop. So why the fancy name for poop? After all, there is plenty more where that came from.
Meconium tends to be a little different from subsequent bowel movements. It is green, sticky and has a tar-like consistency. You may also notice, meconium does not smell bad. But don’t get too psyched about odorless poops. It’s only because meconium does not consist of digested food. Instead, it’s composed of mucus, bile and cells that have been shed from the intestinal tract.
When can you expect to see this tar-like poop? In the majority of cases, your baby will have his first bowel movement after birth within the first few days of his life. There is not any special care needed to deal with meconium, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Since it is very dark, it may be a bit harder to wash out if it gets on cloths. But a presoak before washing clothes should do the trick. Also, meconium is stickier than subsequent poops, so it may take a few extra wipes to clean your little one.
Keep in mind, the first few bowel movements containing meconium may be a very dark green or even appear black. Usually, most babies continue to pass meconium for the first day or two after birth. After that, it should be business as usually with your little one’s poops gradually turning yellow.
But don’t get too worried about the color. After meconium has completely passed, stool color may be everything from yellow to brown. If you notice your baby’s poop is red or white, it’s best to contact your pediatrician immediately.
Meconium Passage Before Birth
Did you know that in some cases babies pass meconium prior to birth? When this occurs, the meconium is excreted into the amniotic fluid. You may know this occurred because when your water breaks, your amniotic fluid may be a greenish color.
A baby is more likely to pass meconium prior to birth when they are several days past their due date. The main concern when meconium is present is that the baby will inhale it around the time of delivery, which can lead to breathing problems. When a baby inhales meconium it does not necessarily mean there will be complications.
Written by Mary Ann DePietro @ writerlady34
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.