Meconium: Babies First Poop

When we think of parenting, we often thing about the obnoxious amounts of diapers, pee and poop that come with the small children that we care for. My clients tend to feel pretty prepared for the poop storm to come but often don’t realize that babies can pass stool immediately before, during or after birth.

This post birth stool is called meconium. It’s a thick, greenish-black stool that is created when the baby swallows amniotic fluid in the womb (normal and healthy!) When babies pass stool in the womb and water breaks your waters will be brownish/green color. This isn’t necessarily a cause for concern but should elicit a call to your care provider right away.

They will probably have you come in right away for a non-stress test for baby. The concern with passing meconium in the womb is that baby may aspirate on the meconium. The risk is low however.

Most babies don’t pass meconium until they are born and comfortable in their mother’s arms. Some parents are surprised by how sticky and tar like the meconium can be. If you are having trouble with the meconium diapers, you can put coconut oil on babies bottom for easy removal of the meconium. The meconium should pass in the first 3-5 days after birth and will be quickly replaced by a yellow, seedy looking stool.

Babies first poop may be surprising for new parents but will quickly change to a more normal looking and manageable stool.