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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Obstetrics

Question: Procedure used when Meconium is detected in amniotic fluid?

 Kinkles - Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:28 am


I'm 23 years old and on Dec 9th I was induced by having my water broken. When my water was broken I had greeny-yellow coloured amniotic fluid in which I was informed that it was meconium. I was allowed to go natural instead of being c-sectioned. I wasn't irrigated either. I was wondering if this was a common procedure or if irrigation/c-section is the procedure to take when the amniotic fluid is that colour?

Thank you in advance!
 Debbie Miller, RN - Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:22 pm

User avatar Hello,
This is standard procedure. The baby has a slightly increased risk of breathing some of it in at the time of birth and causing some transitory respiratory distress but this would be the case regardless of the method of delivery once the meconium is there.

It happens quite frequently and most babies do fine in spite of it. Unless the baby showed signs of distress that would necessitate a c-section, there are actually more potential problems and complications with the surgery for you and the baby and you would not be able to avoid the problems of the meconium anyway. The baby does not breathe until birth so during that initial exposure to air - however the birth occurs, if there is meconium, the baby can breathe it in. Fortunately the color of the fluid alerts the staff so they can suction the baby as needed immediately to help prevent problems.

Best wishes.
 Kinkles - Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:37 am


Once again I have a question in regards to pregnancy/birth. If a placenta was velamentous and marginally inserted up high instead of down low could this have been detected in an ultrasound picture prior to birth if it were up high and what are the precautions taken in this situation (as I know it is very dangerous if it's down low)?

Thank you once again!
 Debbie Miller, RN - Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:44 pm

User avatar Hello,
This cannot be detected with the routine ultrasound exams, but can be with the color doplar ultrasound.

A velamentous insertion on a placenta higher in the uterus is not a significant consequence most times. If there is any doubt, the baby is taken prior to term (about 35-36 weeks) via C-section - standard in a vasa previa case where it is low, close to the cervix.

Pregnancies with a velamentous cord insertion should have a transvaginal ultrasound to determine if there is a lack of fetal vessels near the cervix.

I hope this helps.

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