You Shouldn’t Wash Your Baby After It’s Birth, Here’s Why
Typically, after a child’s birth, a newborn is immediately taken away and bathed, but experts are now recommending a wait of at least 24 hours, and for very good reasons.
“It’s important to remember that babies aren’t born dirty,” says OBGYN, Dr. Ira Jaffe. “The way they’re designed to come out is how they should come out.”
Vernix caseosa, a white coating that children are born with, was thought to be inconsequential, therefore it was immediately washed off, but now it’s known that there’s a purpose with benefits. According to studies, the vernix adds a protective layer to the skin and the immune system, and just as with amniotic fluid, it contains antimicrobial peptides, which can shield against microorganisms and fungi, which are found in diseases such as meningitis and pneumonia.
Of course, the immediate bonding of a newborn with its mother is another reason why proponents wish to delay their immediate separation. A mother’s embrace becomes in tune with that of her child’s and both their body temperatures and their breathing patterns are essential for both. So, many mothers are delaying the bathing, with some waiting longer than a 24 hour period.
Article: Woman’s Day