FIA and Meconium Testing

  1. 0
    When and FIA caseworker requests a meconium collection on newborn of a mother with a drug history, do your docs order this? What do you tell the mother?

    Just curious. We are working on a protocol for this. I would appreciate any input.

    Thanks for your help,


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  2. 12 Comments...

  3. 0
    I'd be interested in knowing what a meconium collection is!
  4. 0
    Meconium is the first stool that a newborn baby passes. If the mother has taken drugs during her pregnancy, it may show up in the meconium and be used as evidence in a protective services case.
  5. 0
    We still test the urine, and yes the MD writes a order. The MD should also discuss with the mother, but if not, we just let them know we have to do a urine test because the MD ordered it.
  6. 0
    never have done a mec test where I worked. Always had to slap on a urine bag and TRY to catch THAT. ugh.
  7. 0
    Thanks Layna. We''ve always just done urine collection. I would imagine meconium would show a more long term use than recent, like urine?
  8. 0
    I heared about mec testing to detect drugs taken in early trimester or entire pregnancy accurately,apparently it is more expensive to do that`s why urine testing is more popular(w MDs order).I know somebody who has taken methampetamineHCl on her first trimester,discovered she was pregnant on the 2nd tri and a dramatic change happen to her-she stopped taking drugs,she become responsible for her unborn child and swear she is drug free for 5mos now,should I believe her?or never give her the chance to change and be with her child?or let the child be with foster parents/case worker who might not be able to provide full time motherly love?Sorry, I am just curious about the point of checking meconium for drugs taken in early pregnancy where urine can check the most recent drugs taken,most of them take drugs when they know they are about to deliver,they can`t stand the blows of life how much more with contractions.
  9. 0
    If a mom was abusing drugs (you mentioned methamphetamines) early in pregnancy, even if she DID stop using for the remainder of the pregnancy, it would be bad judgement (IMO) to just assume that she's going to continue staying clean just because of the baby. For most people staying off of drugs isn't so easy, and pregnancy is temporary, just like staying straight can be. I am totally in support of the meconium testing, even in cases like the one you mentioned, because a red flag should go up when ANY drug use has taken place so that interventions can be made to assist mom in keeping clean and/or being a responsible parent. It's highly unlikely that whatever stressors or motivating factors that were present in the first trimester (those that "made" her or led to her doing drugs in the first place) would magically disappear. She needs counseling to STAY OFF drugs as much as a current user needs counseling to GET OFF drugs. Know what I mean?

    If most of them start taking drugs "when they know they are about to deliver", it is extremely unlikely that this is a first-time occurrence. Would you agree? Furthermore, most of them don't do drugs because they are in labor; rather, they are in labor BECAUSE they're DOING drugs.

    In the case of your friend and women like her, no, you shouldn't necessarily believe her. You can and SHOULD support her in whatever way you can, but the fact is that she endangered herself and her child by using, and the chance for her to change and be with her child should come as a result of counseling and supervision to ensure that she gets on and stays on the right road.
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Jul 25, '03
  10. 0
    Meconium starts forming in the intestine at around 20 wks. so mec drug testing can tell if mom was using basically during the last half of the pregnancy.
    IMO if a mom is using she will not be exposing her baby to a safe enviroment and intervention is needed.
    Sorry but I would rather see a baby with a safe foster parent than exposed to a cloud of meth smoke anyday. Many meth moms may love their babies but they usually love their meth more.
  11. 0
    What kind of protocol are you working on layna?
    I know at my place we have one in place to automatically screen baby's urine if mom is 16 or under, precipitous labor, etc.
    But we don't often have docs order the mec screen, I would be interested to hear more!

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