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Why you should rub in bubs vernix, not scrub it off.

Vernix caseosa, is the waxy or cheese-like white substance found coating the skin of newborn human babies. In Latin, vernix means varnish and caseosa means cheesy.

It acts like a waterproof barrier on your baby’s skin, protecting it from the drying effects of months of submersion in amniotic fluid. In addition, scientists now believe that it may also have antibacterial and cleansing properties.

Vernix is made up of sebum (oil on the skin) and dead skin cells and is secreted by your baby’s sebaceous glands in the second half of your pregnancy.

It will generally begin to disappear just before birth. Some babies are born with a great deal of vernix still present (especially premature babies) while others will have just a little bit.

Don’t wash it off!

As soon as baby is born, it’s natural (and good!) for both mum and bub to have skin-on-skin bonding. This is the perfect time to gently massage the vernix into baby’s skin. It’s easy to do, and rubs in just like body butter.

Don’t rush the first bath.

The majority of the vernix is absorbed within the first day, so anytime after the first 24 hours would be okay to give baby his first bath.

Vernix doesn’t fully absorb until day 5 or 6, so it would be best to wait until then. In the meantime, gently wipe off any spit up, baby poo, and other messes with warm water and maybe a mild soap.

Birth Without Fear shared today that “new research has shown that the smell of #vernix can even trigger the “love” hormone in the parent of a newborn.”

Check out these beautiful baby’s below coated in vernix.

Was your baby born with much vernix?

Share your comments below.

Related content:

Main image via Facebook

  • My daughter had almost none that I can recall.

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  • My boy was 10 days late and had hardly any.

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  • This is very interesting but unfortunately I can’t remember if they had any on them or not.

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  • Bet they can’t wait to wash it off in a hospital.

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  • I can not remember with my son, but Im sure my daughter had some but I started heamoraging so my baby was whisked away and I did not see her for about 2 hours. I wish I would have known this before I had my babies.

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  • I have no idea. He had to be taken away from me quickly and I don’t recall unfortunately. This is a great article and makes sense. Perhaps hospitals should explain this and educate parents to ensure it’s not washed off.

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  • An interesting article, very informative. Thanks for the pictures also.

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  • I honestly don’t remember.

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  • I couldn’t tell you, there was too much else going on in the delivery suite. The urgency was to check my baby was okay. I didn’t even ask the gender until everything was okay.

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  • I had C-sections in the hospital and it was removed directly ????

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  • My friend’s mum was a midwife and they used to use vernix as hand cream back in the day when you were allowed to do such things.

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  • Wonder what happens in the hospital when mothers have a C-section and are too drugged out or under anaesthetic to be aware of what is happening to their new-born.

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  • Those pictures are really awesome. I love babies. I don’t remember my daughter having much vernix. I should the pictures again.

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  • Welcome to the world little babies. :)


    • Mine did not look like this – quite different.

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  • I don’t remember my baby having such a visible coating.

    Reply

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