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Skin to skin, baby snuggles with momma, and enjoys the benefits of the vernix. Photo credit: Flickr member - diathesis

The Power of Vernix – Why baby isn’t getting a bath straight away

Newborns emerge into this world red-faced, squalling and covered in a creamy guck (not a technical term). In years past practices and expectations were that baby would be whisked away, given a first bath to clean that guck off, plus a whole series of tests, and placed fresh, clean and swaddled in mom’s arms sometime after birth, sanitized, and picture perfect. But these practices are contrary to what the research studies tell us about the power of vernix caseosa and what is usually best for baby. Far from being unsanitary, the guck or vernix caseosa serves a number of purposes: 1. The vernix protects the baby during pregnancy and facilitates development of the stratum corneum (top layer of the skin). 2.  Vernix contains antimicrobial proteins that are active against group B. streptococcus and E. coli. 3. It has hydrating properties. 4. Vernix contains anti-infective and wound-healing properties that are important post birth. Today, hospital practices at TMC for … [Read More...]

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Skin to skin, baby snuggles with momma, and enjoys the benefits of the vernix. Photo credit: Flickr member - diathesis

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