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July 2021

S Afr Med J. 1987 Apr; 71(7): 431-3.

Meconium during labour--self-medication and other associations.

Mitri F, Hofmeyr GJ, van Gelderen CJ.

Prior to artificial rupture of membranes, 498 women were questioned about obstetric and social factors including self-medication during pregnancy. Caesarean section (P less than 0,01) and low Apgar scores (P less than 0,001) were significantly more common in pregnancies complicated by fetal meconium passage. Meconium passage was more common in women who had recently taken castor oil (P less than 0,01) and possibly herbal substances called 'sihlambezo' (trend P less than 0,2). Use of laxatives or enemas and other obstetric risk factors were not associated with meconium passage.


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