Giving your baby their first bath In the hospital seems like a no-brainer but waiting to bath your newborn has profound and lasting health benefits
Luckily it’s now standard protocol at many hospitals to wait 8-24 hours to give a baby his or her first bath, and up to 48 hours if the baby was delivered by cesarian section.
However, despite this, some will still try to bathe them right away so it’s important that you’re informed.
Make sure the staff knows about the benefits of delayed bathing before your little one is born so you don’t have to struggle with them in the aftermath.
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Giving Your Baby Their First Bath In The Hospital | Amazing Benefits of Delaying Baths for Newborns
Boost Mother-Infant Bonding
Bonding with your baby plays an important role in your newborn’s brain development. It’s believed that a baby’s social, cognitive, and emotional development depends on a loving bond early on.
A lack of connection can lead to long-term mental health problems and have a negative impact on their potential and happiness in life.
Waiting to bathe is a small thing. But it increases the amount of time you spend with your baby right away and gives her the comfort and time she needs to make a connection.
Those first few minutes and hours are so important so don’t let them take your babe right away.
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The standard at many hospitals has always been to bathe baby right after birth, but new studies have brought to light the benefits of waiting and how it affects breastfeeding.
A study from the Journal for Obstetrics, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing found that delaying that first bath increased the success rate of breastfeeding
while in the hospital which contributes to successful breastfeeding when at home.
Waiting also helps give you and your baby more of the necessary skin-to-skin contact but also keeps the baby’s body temperature warm, and ensures a familiar odor so that baby feels comfortable enough to latch.
Breastfeeding right away can be easier too because baby can remember how to suck and swallow from their time in the womb.
It’s something you should do immediately after birth so don’t let them rush you. A good Docter and facility will know this.
Check This Out As Well: Why Delayed Cord Clamping Is SO Important!
If a baby gets too cold, blood sugar can drop and other complications arise. This is a very real issue.
Your baby already has to use a lot of energy to stay warm and giving a bath too early can cause hypothermia at worst and great discomfort at best.
Inside the womb baby’s temperature is a snug and cozy 98.6 degrees.
But then suddenly your child is born into a 70-degree room and her body needs to work hard to transition to the environment. It’s a huge and shocking change.
So take time to allow your little one to adjust and cuddle with you. It will do you both good.
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Skincare and Protection from the Vernix
While in the womb babies develop a white cheese-like coating on their skin. This coating, the vernix, provides an important waterproof barrier of protection for the baby in and out of the womb.
Waiting to bathe allows the vernix coating to stay longer so that it can moisturize and protect the skin, help regulate warmth and body temperature, and ensures that baby benefits from the antioxidant properties.
The vernix is both antimicrobial and antibacterial in nature and protects baby’s skin from infection. It’s pretty amazing stuff even though it looks yucky.
This is the very best moisturizer for baby; the Vernix is far better than any lotion or cream.
Instead of being washed away, rub it into baby’s skin gently.
Doing this instead of washing it off makes for great bonding time and will leave baby’s skin feeling soft and supple.
Your baby comes covered in it for a reason so take advantage of what nature is providing.
Less Stress, Better Health
Research shows that both babe and Mom benefit from reduced stress levels after cuddling. It helps ease your baby’s natural fears and confusion right after birth.
So hold your child for a while and make your first attempts at breastfeeding before they whisk him away.
Skin contact as soon as possible plays an important role in comforting baby and decreasing the stress and trauma of birth.
Delaying a bath means skin-to-skin contact can happen right away and baby gets the support she needs from mom while adapting.
The physiological benefits are important and skin-to-skin contact can stabilize heart rate and regulate respiratory breathing patterns. It’s all very fascinating how simple touch can have such a strong effect on you both.
In The End….
Less stress for mom and baby equals better health. Giving Your Baby Their First Bath In The Hospital 24-48 hours later is an amazing an way to promote good health and bonding.
Delaying a bath is such a simple thing really, but it ensures baby reaps all the benefits that come from waiting. Don’t be afraid to question hospital policy and communicate any wishes to your nurse and doc.
Creating a simple birthing plan can help them understand your expectations.
Good luck to you and your babe!
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