yeah, i think the reason they are so strict about the bath is because they think it is "gross" to handle someone else's unbathed newborn. I say, then just don't hold my baby!!!! Well, ok, sometimes they need to touch the baby especially if there is some kind of problem, but seriously get over it. If you work in L&C I think you need to be able to handle an unbathed newborn, sheesh.
The bath was the one issue my hospital was so funny about. They didn't bat an eye at the other things, like no hep b, etc. But refusing the bath, they did NOT like that one. I agree with all the reasons mentioned as to why to refuse the bath. it makes no sense at all, why should mothers be seperated from their babies so soon after birth to be bathed? But, my #1 reason for refusing the bath is because they said they'd have to have the baby in the warmer for an hour after the bath in order to get his body temp stable. Unfortunately refusing the bath ended up kicking me in the @ss b/c they overwarmed him in the nursery b/c they apparently had no idea how to set the warmer for a baby who didn't have a bath. He ended up staying in the nursery longer than if he'd had a bath in the first place
And then a nurse was n the nursery icomplaining about me refusing the bath and how she didn't want to have to touch my "nasty" baby. She didn't realize my dh was standing behind her. I'm pretty sure she went home in tears after my dh finished giving her a piece of his mind.