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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

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What is the significance of meconeum staining of the amniotic fluid in labour in cases of prolonged pregnancy?

Passage of meconeum (baby ‘poo’) in the uterus for babies, who have stayed beyond term is a common occurrence. It is therefore, never surprising to see stained fluid (at this juncture called ‘liquor’) on breaking the waters.


However, if the meconeum appears fresh and thick, it may be a sign of distress on the part of the baby. This should trigger immediate electronic fetal monitoring. If the cardiotocograph (CTG) shows suspicious features at an early stage of labour, a caesarean delivery will most likely be resorted to.


The passage of fresh thick meconeum before or at the onset of labour, signalling distress, is not the preserve of post-term pregnancy. It is also seen in labour occurring at term or occasionally preterm.



Is labour after prolonged pregnancy likely to be more difficult?

There is no evidence to this effect. Delivery is probably marginally more difficult because, on average, these babies tend to be bigger.














What is amnio-infusion?

This is mentioned here for completion's sake. This is a practice where sterile fluid - usually warm saline - is infused into the uterine cavity using a catheter. The aim is to counter the effect of severely reduced amniotic fluid and reduce such occurrences as cord compression. Where this has been used, results have been reported as encouraging. However, it is by no means mainstream obstetrics and, at this juncture remains experimental.



Last updated: February 10, 2013






Next Section: Pain in Pregnancy

In post-maturity, intervention in the form of labour induction or even caesarean section may be required. Just make sure the dates are correct.

Expected date Term After 42 weeks Predisposing factors Fetal wellbeing Labour in postmaturity