Blog post by Jacki Barker
It is crazy, but current obstetric practices are actually increasing the chances of causing fetal hypoxia and possible MAS or Meconium Aspiration Syndrome.
On Jan 14, 2015, Rachel Reed posted “The Curse of Meconium Stained Liquor” in Midwife Thinking. Rachel says that it is not meconium alone which is a problem, but meconium plus an asphyxiated baby that can create the possibility of MAS which may result in infection and also death in some babies.
So, is it that obstetric practice is out of date?
We are still:
- Inducing labour,
- Directing pushing to speed up labour,
- Performing artificial membrane rupture (ARM) to see if there is meconium present
It seems that we appear to be fear driven and acting upon the presence of meconium alone without considering the risks of fetal hypoxia which is linked to all of the above as stated by Rachel.
What should we be doing instead? It would seem that monitoring the baby would be essential looking out for signs of distress. Then of course act and make decisions on those babies with thick mec and showing fetal distress.
However, like Rachel suggests, we should be creating a calm environment so the mother is not frightened and we should be avoiding all obstetric interventions associated with fetal distress.
This is yet another highly positive reason to have a doula at birth ensuring the calm relaxed atmosphere that is necessary when meconium is present.
Coming soon… Emergencies in childbearing for doulas and birth workers course. Be the first to know when this course is available by registering your email address here.