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that first bath

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I am wondering if anyone else does this differantly.
Right after my DD was born I held her and we nursed, but the staff kept pushing to get her bath done. Within the first half hour we let them give her a bath, I cringed at how hard they were scrubbing my baby ( no one could have done it it right in my eyes I am sure) and then she got cold and they wanted to put her under the heater ( as soon as they left we just took her out and held her, and her temp went right back up - it was only low like half a degree anyway)
ANYWAY! I know it varies from birth to birth, but I was wondering what the big fuss with that bath was anyway. She was not dirty, just covered in that cremey stuff that was intended to keep her skin safe ( whats that called again...) and I dabbed the blood and mucus off her with a blanket while she was nursing anyway.
I was talking with my Dh today and we were thinking it was pretty silly to do that bath right away, and that it could wait till after we got home. What do you all think? Will I have a truely stinky baby if I leave all that stuff on him or her a little while longer? What are the risks to the baby?
Even now I am one of those moms who does not use soap on her DD unless she is actually really dirty. We bath everyday ( sometimes two or three times for fun) but just use water.
What do you all think? Stinky me, or forget that silly bath till later?
post #2 of 20
I just watched my DD's birth video the other day and was horrified at how hard they were scrubbing my poor baby with cloths!!! No water though - just scrubbing her. POOR baby! I thought what a way to come into the world ya know, from a nice warm womb into this bright loud place and teo be immediately manhandled...NOT this time!

DH and I gave her her first "real" bath when she was 1 week old.
post #3 of 20
My cynical perspective?
Hospitals push the first bath because:
1) it's conventional: much of what hospitals/doctors do is based on convention, not because there are necessarily good reasons to do certain things; doing the PKU test in the first 24 hours after birth, even though the test results are invalid at this point, falls into this category as well
2) hospitals like to retain control over babies--hence, whisking them away to nurseries and doing all kinds of tests and procedures that could wait while mama and baby bond; from the stories I've read, many hospital staffs simply don't see women as particularly qualified to care for their babies in the first few days

Reason #976 why I do not plan on having my baby in a hospital.

Personally, I'll ask my midwives to do a quick wipe of the babe after birth. If the babe is seriously messy, maybe a wipe-down with a warm, wet washcloth...but I really don't think a vigorous, sterilizing body scrub is necessary. Experienced mamas want to chime in here?

I also think a bath every day is totally unnecessary--it's not like your babe spends her days mud-wrestling, and you can always just take a warm washcloth to any area that happens to get a bit messy. OTOH, if your babe likes baths and, say, finds them soothing before bedtime, I don't think it hurts to bathe them every day--but you certainly don't need to.
post #4 of 20
DD got a bath as she was coming out (water birth), but she didn't get a bath from anyone for a while. It wasn't needed, as she was clean and sterile. I gave birth at home, so things were done my way.

I have a feeling I would have real issues if I gave birth in a hospital. I'm too opinionated on exactly what I want.
post #5 of 20
its actually not a good idea to give a babe a bath right after birth. mainly because the babe is coated in your bacteria when born, and cleaning that off opens the baby up to colonization by yuckly hosptial bacteria. also it makes the baby more susceptible to hypothermia, not to mention being possibly painful and traumatic to the baby!
post #6 of 20
I thought that the "creamy covering" on the baby's skin would just absorb in &/or wipe off with "handling"... ? Any thoughts?
My first two were hospital births and sometime after the first breastfeeding they went to the nursery to get bathed, tested (hearing and blood tests) and who knows what else was done...but they didn't bring my babies back for 4 HOURS!!!! I don't plan on letting that happen this time.

One thing I remember reading or having someone tell me is as soon as your baby gets handed over "cuddle them up nice and close and just smell them!!!" There's a newborn baby smell that's so pure and natural and wonderful ---- not the "baby powder" smell so many people associate with newborns...Just wanted to pass that along.

What if this time I just keep the baby with me and not give "him" a bath? Anybody out there not bath their baby? at all?
post #7 of 20
My opinion is pretty null here because I'm pregnant with number one, but I have bathed a few babies in my clinical rotations as a student nurse. The main reason the baby is washed... some moms want to see that fresh clean baby. It is irritating to me. Sometimes the moms will even complain that we don't wash the eyes and "privates" and leave the vernix (white creamy stuff) on those parts. Neonate skin is really delicate. I plan on declining the bath with my little one. I can take care of that later. They lose so much body heat from bathing. It is an unnecessary trauma. I also plan to decline antibiotics in the baby's eyes (I don't have an STD so it is unnecessary) and I'm still researching that vitamin K shot. I will probably opt against that too.
post #8 of 20
our midwives recommended that we wait a day or two when we had our dd. if there was any blood or anything, i dont know where it went. she was wrapped in a blanket and pretty much stayed that way, on me. we co-slept that first night and managed to get some pj's on her after she passed her meconium at 2 am... i remember saying, "uh, honey? can you help me?" welcome to parenting! :LOL

anyway, i think the vernix is really good for them... its like a natural moisturizer as well as a protectant. no reason for the bath, imo.
post #9 of 20
[QUOTE=Neonate skin is really delicate. I plan on declining the bath with my little one. I can take care of that later. They lose so much body heat from bathing. It is an unnecessary trauma. I also plan to decline antibiotics in the baby's eyes (I don't have an STD so it is unnecessary) and I'm still researching that vitamin K shot. I will probably opt against that too.[/QUOTE]

can this be declined?
i thought i was "covered" when i had my dd because i came in armed with letter from my attorney (stating no eye prophlaxys, no vax, no vit k) and birth plan (none of the above plus NO separation from baby, no bath)
well........i came into the hospital in full labor and delivered within an hour i think and i had no time to hand over my birth plan/letter due to some other stupid hospital rules.
they took my baby (still crying over this) and even though i said no to the bath, vit k and eye stuff they said i had to. they kept her for FOUR hours (broke my heart)
i feel they should have had to listen to me at least about the bath/no seperation thing because of patient's rights (i know the other stuff could have been fought for too but they would have called cps).
i was a new mommy and was scared of the hospital personel taking my baby away for "neglect" (no bath etc.)
if it were me NOW i would never allow it (hopefully we'll have a home by the time we have another child and can have a home birth as i wanted with emerson)
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

Your rights

Oh! I am glad teh issue of that antibotic came up that they put in baby's eyes! While we are there, can I please hear about the mucus sucking thingytoo? They hurt my poor baby's nose when they did that as soon as she was born, and left a red mark that is still there ( she is two now) I guess I just do not see the need for any of this!
As far as what you "have' to do when you have a baby. Nothing! They can give you their advice, and you can decline it. My childbirth educator gave me this powerful question
when they say, you need to lay down and put this monitar on
you say
"what is the emergancy?"
when they say we need to bath your baby
you say
"what is the emergancy?"
If it is not an emergancy, it might just be their standard operating procedure, and just one more thing they need to check off on their list.
You can tell them no for anything, and fire them if you don't like them, tell them to leave and get someone else in there. Very few staff members want to argue with a lady in labor or a new mommy. If they don't care enough to respect your requests, they will not care enough to argue with you about staying. That is just what I did anyway with my one kid so far, so take this advice as just that, some opionated preggy lady on mothering
Seriously though, get a copy of your patient rights way way before you go into labor, and talk with your childbirth educator and ask her if she knows about the hospitals SOPs.
OH! I am assuming that you will have a Dh or parent or friend there with you, insist someone goes with the baby at all times, you may not be able to, but I insisted my DH did, they did not like this at all, but we insisted, and would not hand Katie over unless they did. Check this out with your hospital and also ask your childbirth educator, their are rules, and there are rules that are bendable.
I really really hope we can do a homebirth this time around, I want to, and I finally have convinced my DH to at least hear me out on it! Wish me luck!
AND refresh my memory... when do they do that vit K shot? Before you leave the hospital or at delvery?
post #11 of 20
The hospital where I am doing my clinical rotation does vit K at delivery (well, within a short time of delivery).

As far as declining, I've seen patients decline LIFESAVING measures and there is nothing the hospital can do to change their mind except document that you declined (whatever you are declining) AMA (against medical advise). It's just to cover their tails in case something comes up later and you were to try to sue. I feel for the hospitals. The reason they are so into interventions and prevention is because people are SO sue happy. This day and age it requires a well informed mama armed with a intricate birth plan. While you are writing your birth plan, go ahead and write one for emergency c-section. Nobody wants one, but it happens. Be ready or suddenly the whole thing is out of your control!
post #12 of 20
Hi, just lurking because I'm not having a May 2006 baby. My daughter's first bath was at 4 weeks old, when my mom came to visit and insisted on giving her one. Not because she showed any indications for needing one, (she looked clean and smelled good) but because people think babies need baths! Not true.

She screamed because she didn't like getting wet. But other than that, I don't think any harm was done. I do think it is harmful to wash a newborn on the first day or so. And I think that the harsh chemicals they use at the hospital are harmful at any age, unless necessary before surgery, for example. I had a homebirth, so I didn't have to fight with anyone about it, which was great.
post #13 of 20
I have been thinking about the bath too. My first two were bathed soon after birth. With this one I will have the option of a waterbirth. My friend, who is a midwives assistant told me that when you birth in the water, you lose "That wonderful newborn scent". Obviously you lose it with a bath right away too. I would love to experience this scent. It must be pretty important. The sense of olfaction is the most primitive of scents, it makes sense to me that a newborn would smell amazing to the mother, it probably is a very important bonding mechanism. So now I am reconsidering about the water birth.......

HAs anyone else experienced this smell and how it affected them?

post #14 of 20
I tried to decline the bath, but instead the hospital compromised with me and allowed me to take my daughter into the shower with me about 4 or 5 hours after she was born. I held her the entire time while the nurse helped me wash her up. It was very gentle and DD actually seemed to enjoy the warm water running over her while I held her against my body .
post #15 of 20
Interesting thread.

We had a hospital birth with dd. (Wonderful experience...birthplan totally respected...right down to DH putting her first cloth diaper on.)

Anyway...I felt really strongly about dd NOT getting a bath from anyone but us after she was born. It was in our birthplan and EVERYONE in the room knew.

However....a while after she was born....one of the nurses asked me if I would like give her a bath or if I wanted her to do it. I was SO FREAKIN' TIRED at that point, I said you can do it. That would be great (and I totally meant it). She was VERY gentle and used only warm water to wash her.

This time around we're planning a waterbirth (not sure if it will be at home or hospital) so it won't be an issue really I guess.

Oh and ND...

HAs anyone else experienced this smell and how it affected them?
I remember SO vividly when they put her on my chest...one of my first thoughts was....OMG she stinks!!!

I even included her weird smell in my birth story -- so yeah...her primal, new baby smell really affected me...but mainly it just freaked me out! :LOL
post #16 of 20
:LOL Erin
post #17 of 20
Originally Posted by Naughty Dingo
HAs anyone else experienced this smell and how it affected them?
I kept on smelling dd's head when she was first born. DH said it smelled like peanut butter. I didn't think so, but could never find a way to describe it. It smelled good, though.
post #18 of 20
See, I really think I want to experience that, for a longer term period this time. I think on some level that is biologically important.

Cool info, thanks for sharing y'all.

post #19 of 20
I think it is just to get them good and cleaned off but if that really bothers you
maybe go and talk to the hospital staff and ask them what the harm if any of
not giving them a bath right away.....IDK they didn't give either one of mine baths
right away....they gave my dd one that night and my ds they ended up having to
take to the nursery (which I hated and if I couldv'e walked I would have gone
with him down there) so they gave him one there but it wasn't til a few hrs later
post #20 of 20
DD was a hospital birth, I think the sponge-bathed her while they stitched my episiotomy site... I couldn't see her so I only know what dh tells me or what the pictures showed. They did do her hearing test in the middle of the night. :

DS was a homebirth... we were tummy to tummy wrapped in one towel and after a bit I sat on the bed while the midwife did her weighing, measuring, mini-checkup and then we dressed him. So basically he was dried off but that's it. I gave him a spongebath a few days later, he wasn't stinky or anything so no hurry. I love that REAL newborn smell... not the perfume associated with baby powder or baby shampoos, but the smell a baby has all of it's own.
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