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Meconium is the name for your baby’s first bowel movement. Meconium will be nothing like your baby’s normal bowel movements as it is made up of completely different, for lack of a better word, “ingredients”. It is made up of everything your baby ingests while in your womb including: epithelial cells, lanugo, mucus, bile, water and, of course, amniotic fluid.

For this reason, meconium is odourless, has a green to yellow colour and is the consistency of tar. However, less than a week after your baby’s birth everything should look and (unfortunately) smell a lot more normal.

Meconium is generally passed after birth, however it can be passed in utero or during birth. This most commonly occurs with overdue babies and is not ideal as there is a risk of your baby inhaling the meconium into her lungs. It rarely causes a problem, because at birth your physician will use a tube to take any meconium out of your baby’s mouth and nose and will then monitor her to be sure.

Warning: Meconium can be difficult to clean up, because of its tar-like consistency, but if you use baby oil with every diaper application it should help.

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