If you’ve ever given birth before, you probably remember what the scene was like. You were also probably grateful that the nurses took your baby as soon as they were born in order to clean and tidy them up. Some health experts are now saying, however, that may not be the safest idea for a newborn baby…
We all can agree that the fluids that come with the birth of a newborn baby aren’t the prettiest sight to behold.
Newborns have a white-cheesy substance on them after they are born. This substance is known as the vernix caseosa. It protects the baby’s skin while he or she is still in the womb.
The vernix caseosa is composed of sebum, natural oils found in the human skin, which help to protect a newborn baby’s soft and sensitive skin. It’s the baby’s natural moisturizer!
It is known as the best moisturizer in the world. It is also filled with good bacteria. That is why the vernix caseosa should be kept on the skin. Baby’s skin can get cracked after seven to 10 days.
We always hear that bacteria is bad, but did you know it could be good for newborn babies? Dr. Ian Holman, chief of newborn medicine and professor of pediatrics at New York City’s Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, says,
“The bacteria the baby has on his or her skin are supposed to be there. The vernix protective cover over the skin after birth is supposed to be there. The idea of washing all of that and the good bacteria off doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
Known as “nature’s cold cream,” many believe that if the vernix is there in order to protect an infant’s skin in the first place, it should stay there.
While there is currently little scientific research that suggests keeping the vernix caseosa in tact for a few days is the best course of action, Dr. Holman says it makes sense.
“Babies’ skin gets cracked looking after seven or 10 days. Adding water and washing off all that fatty stuff is probably not good for the baby.”
In addition, the baby is used to the temperature of the mother’s womb, Holman says. Choosing the wrong temperature of bath water can cause discomfort, or sometimes even an emergency. Allowing baby to acclimate to the outside world will allow them to adjust to temperatures naturally.
Mothers today are catching on with this new research. New mom Elodie Dupuy told Teen Vouge that her newborn baby didn’t get a bath until six days after she was born. She said the baby didn’t stink, but it felt so good when she finally gave her baby her first bath!
What did you think? Would you bath a newborn baby immediately after birth?