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WikiProject Medicine / Reproductive medicine (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
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I am thinking of merging this article and Meconium aspiration syndrome. Any objections? Any ideas which should be merged into which? Joyous 23:32, Jan 15, 2005 (UTC)

Reversal of merger[edit]

Meconium is a substance. MAS is a syndrome caused when infants accidentally inhale that substance. Meconium is a normal part of every birth; MAS is an unfortunate syndrome which occurs in some births. We should not place together a normal and healthy bodily substance with an abnormal and dangerous medical condition which involves that substance. Even if at the moment, there is not much information on the two individually, in the future someone might want to put more info on meconium in the substance article, and more info on MAS in the syndrome article. Detailed information on meconium (e.g. studies of its constituents) nor does info on meconium in non-human species (excluding vetinary cases of MAS) does not really belong in the MAS article. Likewise, detailed info on MAS (epidemeology, new treatments, whatever) would not belong in te meconium article. --- samuel katinsky —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


That image is I think it should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Keep the image there, it's not doing any harm. I'm impressed that someone managed to find such a good-quality photo for it. I've been using the name Meconium in online gaming for years, and only one person has ever known what it was and commented on the name. Meconium Aspiration Syndrome is clearly a different thing, as samuel katinsky clearly states, and it deserves its own page, obviously with a link to and from this page as the two things are related. Meconium

Wikipedia is not censored. If you don't like it, don't look at it. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 2 July 2005 08:41 (UTC)
That picture is disgusting, only some sort of baby poop pervert would want to look at it. I got chunks in my throat. I removed it. If you like it, you can look at it all you want, just download it. Floopy 3 July 2005 23:07 (UTC)

I'm not a "baby poop pervert" but I managed to hold my lunch while looking at it. From the picture, it's clearly quite different from normal human feces, so the picture is useful. You don't have to look at it if you don't want to. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 3 July 2005 23:40 (UTC)

Sorry about removing the image before. I was reinstating all the other "filthy" [sic] images that Floopy deleted, but had a knee-jerk reaction against this image. Having thought about it, and in line with my opinion on the other images, I of course recognise that there's nothing wrong with having this image included in the article. Jez 4 July 2005 00:27 (UTC)

"You don't have to look at it if you don't want to." I followed a link to this page without a clear idea of what the article was about, and was suprised to see the image in question. Personally I would appreciate this image getting linked from the page, so I can decide if I want to look at it when I know what it shows. As it stands, by the time someone realizes they don't want to look at that image, they've already seen it. Is there any Wikipedia policy on encyclopedic yet possibly offensive images? --NormalAsylum (talk) 18:39, 19 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The picture's a surprise, but did you read the article? Did you read what it does? Can you tell me it's not beautiful that your baby can do that? Oh yes, and you did it too once if I interpret the article correctly.
This page provides information about meconium. I think it helps people to have seen the picture, particularly new parents, soon-to-be parents, and one-day-to-be parents. If we keep the information hidden, it gets harder for them to know what is normal. --Philip Howard 18:35, 26 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I can tell you it's not beautiful. Maybe I'm close-minded. I see no reason why the image couldn't be linked to. Yes, the image contributes to the article. Yes, it's interesting. I'd still like to hear why people shouldn't be allowed to choose since many find the image disgusting. 08:22, 3 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't find the image disgusting. Keep it. I was surprised there was such a thing as meconium in my newborn baby. However, it doesn't look tarry enough. Not only do I think the picture is useful but I'd prefer another picture which shows how thick and sticky it was. To those who object to the picture because it's disgusting, well that's your subjective opinion of it but if you can't find a more objective or more rational argument against it as opposed to your emotional "oh no it's disgusting" (because of what? - give reason). It's a bodily function that all newborn babies have and will inform expectant parents. If a newborn does not display meconium then something is wrong with the bub. I hope this page keeps that picture. 10:44, 2 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just like the debate on the feces page.[edit]

You know damn well this picture doesnt add anything to the article, its all about seeing what you can get away with and about testing the limits of wikipedia. Do everyone a favor and cut the act, you know as well as I do the image is of very dubious encyclopedic value, and is just there for its "shock value", not that i'm that easily shocked but I think the pro-picture people here are really immature.

What you are doing is just another form of vandalism, and I am asking you nicely to stop. If you fail to do so I'm sure there are some admins who will agree with me that this is hardly more than abusing the right to edit articles. Do not re-insert the image. Uthar Wynn 01 (talk · contribs)

I know damn well that there is a world of difference between faeces on the feces page and meconium here. Those people who have never looked after a newborn baby will never have seen meconium, and the image is therefore highly informative.
Wow that's highly informative? "Those people who have never looked after a newborn baby will never have seen meconium, and the image is therefore highly informative." I would never wanna see that thing again. I won't have to anyway, since I won't have any kids.
....And I guess the picture like many are stating can be valid, but wouldn't the pregnant people just go to the doctor to learn all about it? What if someone came here by accident? Punkymonkey987 23:58, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is unwise to call this "vandalism". You will not be taken seriously if you start shouting at a strawman. Your personal attack is also not appreciated. JFW | T@lk 14:24, 18 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fine, keep the poo picture. I suppose it does have some informative value (unlike on the feces page, no one needs to look at a huge human log on wikipedia to find out what human feces looks like), so ill let it remain. Sorry if I got too personal. --Uthar Wynn 01 14:28, 18 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thx. JFW | T@lk 14:41, 18 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree the picture is surprising, but I think the picture is valid. Not only was it useful for my medical study but also personally. I'm currently am 4 months pregnant and have never been told of this normal situation. It's good to know why the first stools have that surprising appearance. Call me naive, but thanks wikipedia!~Heather —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Just to add my 2 cents.. our son was born earlier this week. As the article states, meconium has no smell. I did not believe it, so I put my nose pretty close and, really there isn't any smell at all. The only thing I smelled was the diaper. So, to those who have seen it, this is actually a good sight. It means that everything is working down there. The only problem with the stuff is that its very hard to clean off. Putting some pertroleum jelly down there (for the next time) was helpful so that it would not stick to the skin so easily. Anyhow, just wrote this to say that the picture didn't shock me, and I was glad to see it, because it just reinforces that everything is going well. -- 00:51, 23 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Woah guy. TMI. -- 00:30, 19 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Which finally gives us a real-life example of how useful pictures in Wikipedia can be. All of the best to you and your now 8 months old son! — Mütze 16:12, 17 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Concerning "the image", again[edit]

I restored the image that was blanked on 15 Jan 2007. I don't see what the fuss is about... there are much worse things in life, folks. The image is completely appropriate IMHO, if not exactly appetizing. As I said in the invisible HTML comments (in case a newcomer decides otherwise), "<!-- Do not remove this image without first looking at the talk page and substantiating it. This image's inclusion has been discussed at length.-->" — VoxLuna Moonforwiki.png(talk)  06:30, 27 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Might I suggest and add to the debate by saying, why don't we make people "opt-in" so to speak to seeing the image. By that I mean, have a link for people to click on that would take them to the image itself if they are interested in seeing it. I think that would balance our duty to show those who are willing or wanting to see the image, while respecting the sensitivities those who don't. RickyCourtney 15:55, 23 March 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]
I really can't agree - to my mind people who are looking at an article about baby-poo have no real business being shocked and horrified that there's a picture of it! As has been stated above, the picture's useful, so I'd vote for it staying put. Nmg20 14:39, 25 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I hate to weigh in on this again, but under the guise of "sensitivities", a great many articles (for example, Bristol Stool Scale) would have to be censored. BTW, that image, however offensive, was nominated for the April Fool's Main Page as a WP:FPC. — VoxLuna Astronomical symbol for the moon.svgT / C  22:33, 3 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Folks, Faeces is the Latin word for dregs. It is the waste product of digestion. Since the fetus does not eat, it cannot produce waste; thus, meconium is not feces. Mike Serfas 21:09, 25 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The image is fine. I have it set as my computer desktop wallpaper. I have had no ill effects from it. In fact, I've noticed my appetite has increased from looking at it. I highly recommend human placenta after it has been placed in direct sunlight on the hood of a car as a delicacy. --Roonerspism 17:12, 27 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Folks, there is nothing wrong with this image. It is what it is, the feces of a newborn. I am neither atracted nor apalled by it. It should be the goal of Wikipedia to collect as much information as possible, and this image certainly contributes to it. The picture is not offensive in any way, i could think of a lot of different ways how this picture could have been shown off worse. It is rather neutral.

Rave24 (talk) 06:00, 15 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Infants have several meconium stools stools after being born. They typically can have up to 5 of them. So its not contradictory to say that this is the 3rd meconium stool. They've got 9 months worth of meconium stored up that needs to be gotten rid of!.  :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:07, 27 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge" I know there's not been much chat about the image recently but wanted to add my voice in case it comes under discussion again. I came here after reading about fetal development and was interested to know that they even have stools straight after birth. If the image had not been there, I would have left with a far poorer understanding of the substance and would have assumed it was just like normal faeces. I'm not a poop freak(!), I just like to know as much as possible about everything I can. I can't imagine there being a case to delete images like this simply because they're difficult to look at. If there was something morally wrong with it, I'd understand, but it's like someone who's scared of spiders requesting all spider pictures removed, it's just not in line with the goals of the wikipedia project. Fiddley (talk) 23:23, 6 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Medical importance of the images[edit]

This article is part of WikiProject Medicine, and as such, it is quite necessary that the images in question remain viewable from this page. I will agree that they are not pleasant to view, however; many medical images are not. Many medical students, myself included, use Wikipedia as a quick reference tool to gain a superficial understanding of particular topics. The images, of which these are the only examples throughout the Wikimedia projects I will add, are a useful tool to reinforce the text and aid in identifying meconium in the clinical setting. Eps0n (talk) 12:40, 12 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lead sentence contradicts caption of lead photo[edit]

I think the image is excellent. However, the caption clearly contradicts the lead sentence, which states that meconium is the "first stool of an infant." If this is so, the image which is of the infant's "third bowel movement," by definition cannot be meconium.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 04:55, 19 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It appears that the definition of meconium is based on its origins: it is composed of substances that the infant ingested before birth. Therefore it is reasonable for meconium is exist past the first bowel movement, and I have (hopefully) clarified the situation on the article. Kelvinc (talk) 04:35, 2 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't know what the medical definition is, but that solution at least makes logical/semantic sense. Thanks.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 05:33, 2 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another image[edit]

Meconium from 13-hour-old newborn — the baby's first bowel movement. The baby was born at 41 weeks of gestational age, weighed 117.4 ounces (3,330 g), and was 19.5 inches (50 cm) long.

I added a second image to help clarify what Meconium looks like. The first photo is good, but it's such an odd substance that I thought it could use another example. Since Wikipedia helped me find out what Meconium was... I thought I would donate another image. This stuff is difficult to photograph. Azoreg (talk) 03:29, 14 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comparison image[edit]

Wondering what people think of this image comparing the appearance of meconium to mature (breastfed) faeces. Will it be useful for this article? Tonicthebrown (talk) 06:53, 13 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This image compares the appearance of meconium (from 48 hours after birth) to the appearance of the same infant's faeces after 1 week of breastfeeding.

Human-only focus[edit]

From this page a naive reader might well think that only human infants have meconium, whereas presumably all infant mammals do (certainly all those in my experience), and I suppose any other creature born or hatched with an operational gut. Is there any particular reason why it should be limited to humans? If so, the article should be renamed human meconium. If not (which seems very likely), the text should surely be broadened to cover the whole subject. Richard New Forest (talk) 21:12, 29 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This term is not confined to mammals[edit]

This term is regularly employed in science for multiple organisms, and can mean any stool produced from an earlier stage in life. It is what all Drosophila labs look for when searching for virgin flies as the meconium is still present from the larval stage in very young flies.

Below are some examples of the use of the term meconium in the peer reviewed literature for non-mammals.

Fruit flies: Bainbridge, S. P., & Bownes, M. (1981). Staging the metamorphosis of Drosophila melanogaster. Development, 66(1), 57-80.

Silk worms: Hasegawa, Y., Okumura, M., Tojo, M., Nakagaki, M., & Nagata, Y. (2009). Developmental changes in D-serine level in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Journal of Insect Biotechnology and Sericology, 78(2), 2_69-2_73.