The time of passage of the newborn's first meconium/stool is an indicator of health and is used to screen for normal gastrointestinal tract function. Most newborns urinate after birth, and this is an indication of normal renal function. The aim of this study is to investigate the meconium/stool and urinary patterns of healthy neonates, and to determine whether they correlate with delivery mode, birth weight, feeding method and its frequency.
Patients and Methods: Newborns with a gestational age of ≥ 34 week delivered by normal vaginal delivery (NVD) or cesarean section (CS) were included. The newborns were fed either breast milk exclusively or a combination of breast milk and formula. The frequency of meconium/stool and urine passage and the delivery type, birth weight, and feeding method and its frequency were recorded throughout their hospital stay.
Results: A total of 1095 newborns were included. By the first 24 h after birth, 986 (90%) newborns had passed their first meconium or stool and 1084 (99%) newborns had passed their first urine. The mean number of meconium/stool and urine passages was higher in neonates delivered by CS. The mean number of meconium/stools within the first 24 h was higher in newborns fed breast milk exclusively. Combination-fed newborns and newborns with a lower birth weight had a higher mean number of urine passages. The number of meconium passages in the first 24 h was significantly lower in newborns weighing < 2500 g.
Conclusion: The mode of delivery, birth weight, and feeding method and its frequency may influence meconium/stool and urinary patterns in newborns. (Marmara Medical Journal 2012;25:143-7)