Here are a few good resources on meconium and Meconium Aspiration Syndrome.
This “Dear Unborn Baby” letter gives a good overview of why it’d be great if babies just waited until after birth to pass meconium.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), routine suctioning should not be part of managing a newborn with meconium stained amniotic fluid. Read the guidelines here.
Why does this matter? Well, because many babies with meconium stained fluid are routinely suctioned whether they show signs of respiratory distress or not. This type of routine suctioning is not only an ineffective strategy in preventing meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS), but also has unnecessary consequences (oral trauma of the newborn) including difficulty initiating breastfeeding.