It’s getting more popular to delay the baby’s first bath, for a few reasons. One, parents want the chance to bond with their newborn immediately after the birth, and taking the baby away to be bathed delays that bonding period.
Two, the baby is born covered with vernix (the thick, white cheese-like substance coating the baby’s skin). It’s technically called
vernix caseosa, and it protects baby’s skin while they are in the womb, “swimming” in amniotic fluid. There are many benefits of letting baby’s skin absorb this substance, and even rubbing it in like lotion:
- Vernix has anti-microbial properties, protecting baby’s skin against harmful bacteria;
- it rejuvenates the skin, even having wound-healing properties;
- and it moisturizes baby’s skin, which protects it from drying out after the birth.
- Read more about the benefits of vernix.
Now, research is showing yet another great reason to delay that first bath – breastfeeding success!
After conducting their own study, the researchers found delaying the bath from two hours (the previous standard) to at least 12 hours increased how many moms exclusively breastfed their babies and went home planning to do so. They also saw the baby’s body temperature remained more stable by delaying the bath.– Cleveland Clinic
This is great news for those parents who plan to breast/chestfeed their newborns. And, more research to share with the birth team if you plan to delay baby’s first bath.
Read the full article….