Delaying Baby’s First Bath
Bathing the baby is one of the fun things especially for parents who have new babies. But keep in mind it turns out that newborn babies should not be bathed immediately. There is no need to rush to wash them immediately after birth since babies naturally born in a not dirty condition. Bonding between mother and baby, skin contact, and breastfeeding are far more important than bathing a baby. What your child needs at birth is just a towel to wipe the amniotic fluid, blood, and meconium left on his body. How long the interval between birth and bathing for babies varies in various hospitals. Research shows that several hospitals immediately bathe their babies as soon as they are observed after birth.
Formerly bathing a baby immediately after birth is a standard hospital procedure, but now the hospital waits at least 8-24 hours after birth before the baby is bathed. Sometimes parents want to immediately bathe the baby so that the baby’s body is clean, but there are several reasons why you should delay it. If a newborn baby is bathed and immediately bathed it will reduce the baby’s temperature or body temperature. Remembering a newborn baby can’t regulate body temperature properly.
Some Benefits of delaying baby’s first bath
Vernix or also known as vernix caseosa is a creamy white layer that develops on the skin of an unborn baby at around 20 weeks of gestation. In the middle of pregnancy, the baby begins to have a white layer like wax on the skin. The newborn skin fat layer is the result of the union of oil released by the oil glands (sebum) by the skin of the fetus with the remaining skin cells of the fetus. That is why the main component of natural blankets can be a kind of compound protein and fat. This compound later called proteolipid.
Babies swim in the membranes during pregnancy. Amazingly the baby’s skin is not wrinkled because there is a layer of vernix that protects the baby’s skin from the liquid. Without protection, the baby’s skin will wrinkle in the womb. Vernix is also a natural skin moisturizer that protects the baby’s skin from drying out when exposed to air after birth.
Vernix makes babies have soft skin after birth, protects it from infection. The amount of vernix in the baby’s skin decreases as it approaches the time of birth. Naturally, if the baby is born full time still has this layer on the skin.
Vernix not only protects the skin but also reduces friction when the baby passes through the birth canal during birth. Vernix seems comfortable, so instead of cleaning it, let the baby benefit from this. Vernix is believed to moisturize and protect baby’s skin while in the womb. Towards the end of pregnancy, vernix covering the baby will begin to diminish and at birth usually, the rest of the vernix layer can still be seen. Vernix is believed to have anti-bacterial functions that can help keep baby’s skin from infection.
In conclusion, vernix is a balanced cream of compounds involved in defense, protecting fetal and newborn infections. According to medical research (the department of maternal and child health, Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Microbiology) found some parts of the protein component contained in vernix caseosa have a share as a body protective agent. Your child can be protected from several types of bacteria, such as Bacillus megaterium or Escherichia coli, and the fungus Candida albicans. The natural protection of this layer of baby’s skin fat is important during labor and after the baby is born. Because the body condition of a newborn is still very vulnerable to various infections, including bacterial and fungal infections.
2) Helps Regulate Body Temperature
Babies are protected and warm in the womb. The room temperature is cooler than the uterus. Newborns cannot adjust body temperature properly and do not have the same fat insulation as adults, it also occurs in babies spending the last part of pregnancy to store fat. Bathing a newborn can make the baby experience heat loss (hypothermia) and needs to use more energy and oxygen to keep his body temperature stable.
3) Reducing the Risk of Infection
Babies are born with this natural anti-bacterial cream on the skin to protect it from bacteria. Babies are more at risk of exposure to bacteria such as Staphylococci, Clostridium difficile, and E. Coli at the time of delivery. These bacteria can cause complications such as pneumonia, meningitis, staph infection, even the infection of the digestive system. This infection is common and can cause death in newborns. So keep your baby near you, think carefully about which procedures need to be taken. Delaying to bathe the baby can protect it from these bacteria.
4) Increase the success of breastfeeding
Babies and mothers who make skin contact after birth without having to be separated are usually more likely to succeed when breastfeeding. At 20-30 minutes after birth, if the baby is left to make skin contact in the mother’s abdomen or chest, she will start crawling to the breast and looking for the nipple.
Exclusive breastfeeding also helps protect babies from illness and reduces mortality. If the mother and baby are separated after birth because the baby must be bathed, this process will be disrupted and make the breastfeeding process more difficult, both for the mother and baby.
5) Increase the closeness of mother and baby
The baby just spent 9 months in the uterus, listening to the heartbeat and studying his mother’s voice. After birth, babies rely on their feelings to feel safe. Being pressed and skin contact with the mother gives the first sense of security that triggers further behavioral development.
The first moment when parents meet a baby after birth is very valuable and do not damage this moment by handing it over to the nurse unless there is an emergency. There are many benefits if the baby stays with the mother and delay the baby’s first bath. Babies can be bathed whenever parents and babies are ready.
6) Keep Blood Sugar Stable
When the baby is bathed immediately after birth, his blood sugar can be decreased. The first few hours after birth are adjustment times for babies. He must learn to breathe the air outside the womb. Bathing your baby will cause stress and further crying, this encourages the release of stress hormones which then triggers the blood sugar level to decrease. Babies who have low blood sugar will be easily drowsy and not suckle well and this can cause further problems with the regulation of blood sugar. So, it is further recommended for the parents and health workers to delay the baby’s first bath.