Meconium is the sticky, tar-like material that newborns pass as their first bowel movement. Healthy babies pass meconium within their first day of life. Babies with meconium ileus have meconium that is even stickier and thicker than usual. This can cause bowel blockage. Most babies born with meconium ileus also have cystic fibrosis, which affects the lungs and pancreas.

Symptoms of Meconium Ileus

Doctors typically diagnose meconium ileus during a newborn screening before babies leave the hospital following birth. Signs and symptoms of this condition include:

  • Not having a bowel movement during the first day of life
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Vomiting green liquid

When to see a doctor

If your baby is not diagnosed with meconium ileus before leaving the hospital, tell your child’s pediatrician if your baby vomits green liquid or does not have regular bowel movements once home.

Causes of Meconium Ileus

Unusually thick meconium typically causes meconium ileus. It is often a complication of cystic fibrosis.

Who’s at risk

If you have a family history of meconium ileus or cystic fibrosis, your baby could be at an increased risk of being born with the condition.

Request an Appointment

Contact an Orlando Health doctor

If you suspect that your child may have meconium ileus, make an appointment with an Orlando Health pediatrician today so your child can start on the road to improved health.