We compared spectrophotometric analysis of the umbilical cords of infants with meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) or with meconium-stained amniotic fluid (MSAF) and healthy infants. In a prospective study, 15 infants with MAS and 37 infants with MSAF were enrolled. Twenty healthy infants formed a control group. The absorption peak of umbilical cords with meconium was significantly higher in the infants with MAS or MSAF than in controls. Spectrophotometric analysis of the umbilical cords with meconium may be useful to identify developed neonates with MAS or MSAF.