Meconium is the material that's inside your baby's intestines while still in your womb (an unborn baby is called a fetus). Even though a fetus doesn't eat food, it swallows the amniotic fluid that it floats in. This forms a sticky, dark green material in the fetus's intestines.
Aspiration is when you inhale some material into your lungs.
If a fetus is stressed right before birth, the fetus can poop meconium into the amniotic fluid. Meconium aspiration syndrome is when a fetus inhales amniotic fluid full of meconium.
Inhaling plain amniotic fluid isn't harmful. But if the fluid contains meconium, the meconium can block your baby's air passages and irritate the lungs.
Babies have trouble breathing
They breathe quickly, grunt when breathing out, and may have blue-colored skin
Doctors may have to put a breathing tube in your baby's windpipe, and your baby may be put on a ventilator
Most babies survive, but they have a higher chance of having asthma later in life
Doctors suspect meconium aspiration syndrome if there is meconium in the amniotic fluid when your baby is born and your baby has breathing problems. Doctors may also do: