There is a lot going on in utero, and if you’ve ever been pregnant, this won’t surprise you. You can feel every roll, every kick, every tiny movement. After all, there’s only a thin wall separating your baby from your internal organs and the outside world. Babies in utero are developing much of the bodily functions they’ll need once they’re born, and doing so with gusto. But is it all of the bodily functions? You can feel your baby’s Rockette-style kicking and hiccups, but what about the more mundane facts of life. For instance, do babies pee in the womb? If so, where does it go?
The simple answer is yes, babies do urinate in utero. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), somewhere between weeks 13 and 16, babies begin learning the process of swallowing. This in turn leads to them ingesting the placental fluid contained in the womb, and that triggers their kidneys and bladder to function. No one, not even babies, can swallow an indefinite amount of liquid without producing waste, and so they begin urinating soon after they learn to swallow. This also allows the amniotic fluid to recycle itself throughout the pregnancy, keeping your baby flush inside their little swimming pool.
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However, most babies hold their solid waste until after they’re born. Perinatal waste is referred to as “meconium” and its presence is worrisome. There are multiple risks associated when babies poop in the womb, but the primary concern, according to Karger Medical Journal, is something called “meconium…