More than anything else we need to understand that babies are not born dirty

Vernix caseosa, is the white, cheese, wax-like substance coating a brand new baby’s skin. Vernix is composed of lipids, amino acids, water, and sebum - the oily matter that gives us oily skin, hair, even ear wax. This substance contains anti-microbial and anti-infective properties that may prevent against viruses and fungi such as E.coli, Candida, Group B Strep, and Staph just to name a few! 

Rub the vernix in to baby’s skin, don’t wipe it off!  

So how does delaying a bath benefit breastfeeding? Although bathing a baby within the first few hours of birth has been a normal practice for decades, it actually has a negative impact on overall rates on breastfeeding initiation and duration.

Bathing right away can cause low body temp and low blood sugar. 

Let me paint a picture: 

Baby is born and bathed shortly after. Following the bath, baby is cold and has a hard time regulating temperature which places extra stress on the body. Due to the extra stress, the baby blood sugar becomes unstable and is simply too tired to nurse and sleeps instead. When this scenario plays out, and hospital “policy” to do is introduce formula to manage sugar levels. What happens then? 

After formula introduction, baby is full and sometimes even more sleepy and has little interest in latching on mama to nurse. Mama may notice a delay in her milk because her breasts are not being adequately stimulated to produce milk for her baby and may continue supplementation in fear she is not producing enough milk. 

Uninterrupted skin-to-skin and skipping that first bath (even delayed for a few weeks) has numerous benefits like better breastfeeding success, ease of latch, stabilization of body temperature, blood sugar regulation, and transfer of GOOD bacteria from mother’s fluids and vernix.

Rub the vernix in, don't wipe it off for those amazing built-in benefits!