I'm Watching You Dad! No Funny Business!

I’m Watching You Dad! No More Funny Business!

TV distorts reality.  Babies don’t come out sparkly and polished.  They’re slippery and slimy.  I’m 99% sure they are covered in condensed milk.  Smush smells and tastes sweet.  (I was curious, so I licked the hair on her head once.  Only once!)

I promise that I won’t do it again today.  The slick layer on the skin is called vernix or vernix caseosa.  And it’s important.

In the name of “leave it the hell alone” over “let’s poke, prod and experiment, etc. and be as invasive as possible because the insurance companies reimburse us very well for doing ‘stuff’ and we can’t lose money because we have a business to run and we have to pay our doctors and nurses to perform procedures, not stand there and watch you perform normal childbirthing activities”, we decided NOT to have Smush bathed.

And now that I’ve read more about it, I see we made the right choice to do nothing!  Yeah!

Research has shown that vernix covers the newborn’s body inside the womb and protects the baby from germs.  What kind of germs?  Well, how about:

If you are unlucky enough to test positive for any of the above microbes such as GBS, leaving the newborn’s vernix intact can also help protect your child.  There are quite a few studies that have been done.  I’ve linked some PubMed articles for the techno-heads.

For those that don’t want to read a bunch of articles, let me put it in plain language.  The vernix is to birth canal as a  hazmat suit is to toxic chemical spill.  (And I mean toxic spill in the nicest sort of way.)  Leave it on the newborn and let it just soak in…

Technical Article Abstract Links

Antimicrobial polypeptides of human vernix caseosa and amniotic fluid: implications for newborn innate defense

First Line of Defense in Early Human Life

The newborn infant is protected by an innate antimicrobial barrier: peptide antibiotics are present in the skin and vernix caseosa

Host defense proteins in vernix caseosa and amniotic fluid