Meconium Aspiration

Also known as: meconium aspiration syndrome, MAS, neonatal aspiration of meconium.

What is meconium aspiration?

Meconium is the medical term for the first stool that a baby passes, usually shortly after it is born. In some instances, the baby passes meconium while still in the womb and breathes it in. This is known as meconium aspiration and can cause some complications.

What causes meconium aspiration?

A baby may pass meconium in the womb due to blood and oxygen supply problems. This can occur if the umbilical cord or placenta have problems.

What are the symptoms of meconium aspiration?

Breathing problems are common in babies with meconium aspiration. The baby can have a bluish skin color, rapid breathing or noisy breathing. In severe instances, the baby may not be breathing and be limp at birth.

What are meconium aspiration care options?

If meconium is present in the amniotic fluid, it is common for a special care team (usually neonatologists) to be present for the birth of the baby. Treatments to remove meconium from the baby’s airways and help the child with breathing immediately after birth are common. Sometimes they are given special medicine to help mature the lungs and may need to be connected to a ventilator. Antibiotics may also be needed to fight infection.

Reviewed by: Shifra A Koyfman, MD

This page was last updated on: March 20, 2019 04:07 PM