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How A Bowel Movement At Birth Can Sometimes Lead To A Birth Injury…

A bowel movement at birth can sometimes be a precursor to problems for a baby. For some parents who contact me regarding birth injuries, bowel movements are a confusing subject to them because a baby does not “eat” the same way as children and adults. With that said, babies can in certain situations have a bowel movement during delivery.

The purpose of this Maryland birth injury article is to shine light on bowel movements at birth and how in some cases, a bowel movement can lead to not only serious injury, but sometimes death. At the end of this article, and supporting video, you will be able to see how a bowel movement at birth can sometimes lead to a birth injury.


The name for a baby’s bowel movement is called meconium. It is a buildup of the materials a baby ingests during the growth process in the womb. Meconium can vary in color but is usually dark green. However, the substance can also display colors such as brown and yellow.

In many instances, meconium will not be passed until after birth. With that said, in certain instances a baby will pass meconium.


When a baby passes meconium during delivery, doctors and nurses can tell because when the mother’s water breaks, the substance will be in the fluid. Meconium coupled with other factors can be a sign that the baby is no longer tolerating a vaginal delivery and is in distress. Fetal distress is a serious condition because if it is not treated in enough time, the baby can suffer from a birth injury, namely, an injury to the brain. The electronic fetal heart monitor can display certain things such as late decelerations, minimal variability, bradycardia, etc.… all, in conjunction with meconium, can demonstrate fetal distress.

Meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) can also be the result of a bowel movement during delivery. MAS is dangerous for the baby because the meconium can get down into the baby’s lungs if swallowed (can block airways and lead to respiratory problems). Doctors will immediately clear the substance from the nose and mouth of the baby following delivery. An examination by doctors following birth will seek to determine whether meconium is present past the baby’s vocal cords, increasing the risk of meconium aspiration syndrome.


Hopefully now you can see how a bowel movement at birth can sometimes lead to a birth injury. If your child has suffered a birth injury, and it happened here in Maryland, this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and give me a call.

I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer birth injury questions like yours all the time and I would be happy to listen to your story.

Marcus B. Boston, Esq. Boston Law Group, LLC 2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700 Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815 301-850-4832 1-833-4 BABY HELP

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