Meconium - Baby's first Poop, All you need to know
Baby's first poop.
A dark greenish, blackish slimy sticky poop. Normally a newborn healthy baby will poop within the first 48 hours of birth and that poop is called meconium. It is the earliest stool of an infant. Unlike later feces, meconium is composed of materials ingested during the time the infant spends in the uterus: intestinal epithelial cells, lanugo, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile, and water. It lines the intestines and colon of the newborn baby and is released typically in the first bowel movement of an infant. Not releasing meconium within 48 hours of birth is not a good sign, few babies also poop inside the uterus which again is not a good sign. First poop - Meconium is a sign of a healthy baby if done on time otherwise it can lead to various other complications like meconium Aspiration Syndrome. If babies are unable to pass meconium they may develop a distended abdomen, vomit, and do not generally feed well. Worst case scenario, it can lead to conditions that may result in a failure to pass meconium include intestinal obstruction, meconium ileus (which can be associated with cystic fibrosis,) Hirschsprung's disease, meconium plug syndrome, or an anorectal malformation, which can include anal stenosis (an abnormally small opening at the anus, or an absent anus (anal atresia.)
What to expect?
The poop is going to be odourless, it has no smell.
Its going to be blackish green and sticky.
Baby may poop this meconium 3-4 times and after intake of milk , the poop transition to normal yellowish poop starts.
This poop may stick to the dipaer/cloth and also to the baby' skin, but nothing to worry, it can be easily removed in both the cases.
The transition sometime may take 3-4 days to normal looking poop so dont panic.
How to deal with Meconium?
Use cloth Langot : These days not a very popular opinion but in traditional Indian practices, midwives will sew and stitch langot from old clean clothes for early poops of baby. Langot doesn't touch the skin and organs of the baby very tightly and keeps it airy and breathable. Langots are smaller pieces of cloth with strings , they are easy to wash and maintain then square shaped cloth nappies . Using diapers for a new born baby is not recommended , for several reasons. the materials used in making a diaper are just not suitable for a baby who has just born, even the cloth diapers with waterproof lining are not suitable as they dont let the skin breathe. Using langot will surely make the process little messy but that's the right way.
Use oil on baby skin: Using coconut, sesame or almond oil on baby's skin is advised as it prevents the sticking of meconium to the skin. Use the generously so the meconium doesn't stick to skin. if it still sticks then make sure to wash it very very gently with a warm damp cloth and not rub it.
Washing nappies/langot: Meconium looks disgusting and sticky but its not tough to remove fromlangot/nappies as imagined. Just scrape the poop into flush and wash away the remains under running water and throw the langot in washing machine or wash bucket. Its not tough. If it leaves a mild stain, dry the langot/nappy under sunlight. it will fade away the stain and will also act as a disinfectant for the cloth.
Once the baby has transitioned to proper stool then one can shift to square cloth nappies or reusable diapers.
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