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PSA: Bathing the baby = dropping temperatures

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Okay, I just posted something about this in Matey's thread, but I think it's better to make a general thread about it.

This is for mothers birthing in hospitals.

There is no reason your baby needs to be bathed after birth except some people's aesthetic sense. Bathing a newborn almost always results in a drop in temperature and a "necessary" stay in an artificial warmer. (Or at least, that's what my midwife and the hospital staff told me last time.) Do NOT LET THEM BATHE YOUR BABY until at least day 2 -- or better, just wait till you get home. Especially since they usually try to do it before you're even mobile, so if the baby's temp dropped you wouldn't be able to go to the nursery with him/her.
post #2 of 15
Most babes do not require time under a warmer after a bath. Most baths take between 3-4 minutes (at least when I am doing them!)
And besides if baby gets a little cold nothing like skin to skin to warm him/her up!!
post #3 of 15
I'm not having my baby in a hospital, but thanks for posting this for those who are. It makes sense that a baby's temp is going to drop- an adults temp drops after a bath or shower, that's why they recommend them before bed! When we lived in Malaysia I always took one before bed for that very reason- I NEEDED the temp drop to help me sleep at night
post #4 of 15
I homebirth, but my mw tells me not to bathe them before 2 or 3 days old for that reason.
post #5 of 15
Great thread! Thanks for the heads up, I wouldn't have thought about it otherwise.
post #6 of 15
This happened with my second child. They took her to the nursery and bathed her then kept her three hours because of her temp. It was awful. I'd barely gotten to hold her post birth as it was because of other issues and then I was left alone in the room for hours afterwards (DH was with her). This baby will not be getting a bath but I'm hoping for a waterbirth anyway so he'll at least get some rinsing. Not that I think it's necessary.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by nurseynight View Post
Most babes do not require time under a warmer after a bath. Most baths take between 3-4 minutes (at least when I am doing them!)
And besides if baby gets a little cold nothing like skin to skin to warm him/her up!!
Agree. Also, there are data to support an immersion bath over sponge bath because it's less likely to chill the baby.

I can count on the fingers of one hand how many babies I've seen drop their temps more than a degree with a bath. Who puts them under warmer for that?

An unbathed baby is technically a biohazard for the staff, and she will be touched with gloves. Personally, I'd choose the bath over gloved hands any day.

I'd file this under "things not to worry about if you have a hospital birth".
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmama View Post
An unbathed baby is technically a biohazard for the staff, and she will be touched with gloves. Personally, I'd choose the bath over gloved hands any day.
Could be this is something to ask about. I know my baby wasn't bathed (and he had been covered in meconium) and no one touched him with gloves. Then again, pretty much no one else touched him!


I wonder whether the temperature thing has anything to do with how the baby is bathed; sponge bath v. immersion; length, etc. I know when the nurse tried to take my baby for a bath and I asked her about it, she admitted that he was likely to need some time in the nursery afterward. We did end up in the nursery (together) a few hours later because of a scary breathing thing, and there were at least 2 babies there being warmed up after their baths.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dov'sMom View Post
Could be this is something to ask about. I know my baby wasn't bathed (and he had been covered in meconium) and no one touched him with gloves. Then again, pretty much no one else touched him!
It's not the mec. MEc is sterile. It's vernix/AF/vag secretions/blood. I personally don't wear gloves after the baby's wiped off (I will confess that vernix icks me out, even my own kid's) because I figure i know how to wash my hands, but a lot of nurses do, even in our hippie hospital.
post #10 of 15
I wasn't in great condition after DS was born, so I know he spent some time in the nursery. I was peeved w/ DD b/c they kept her in the nursery b/c of temp issues for at least a few hours. I can't 100% say that it was bath related, as I was being 'put back together' (c-section) while she was in the nursery, but this thread has really made me wonder.

I'm just not a big fan of separation, especially extended and especially right after birth, kwim??
post #11 of 15
We watched a video of hospital staff bathing newborns and it was actually kind of violent.

I'm having a home birth and really hoping we don't have to transfer. Eek!
post #12 of 15
Nobody ever bathed my ds or attempted too. After the intial "weigh the baby" I don't remember my son ever being touched by a nurse. The lactation consultant "positioned" him but I don't remember her wearing gloves, and he was dressed by that point... Oh maybe for the hearing test on day 2...but if they want wear gloves I don't care. Honestlly he was only touched by stranger hands for seconds..while he was in my arms (and we were in the hospital for 3 days).
post #13 of 15
We're going to be skipping the bath, too. I'm not worried about the nurses or staff having to wear gloves; as long as everything goes as it should, they won't be touching her anyway. And, if they do have to touch her, I'd rather they had gloves on to protect her from their germs.
post #14 of 15
My dp bathed our ds2 in our room about 2 or 3 hours after he was born. It was just a wipe down with a wash cloth and some water. He might have used soap but I dont remember. With my ds3 born in a birth center we didnt bathe him after birth or for a week or more after we got home. It was just a wash cloth to clean the creases! The vernix all got rubbed in.
All newborn procedures can be put off and baby does not need to be bathed right away. baby does however need to bond with mom and nurse, not take a bath first thing.

Unless I or my dp was to give the baby a bath I would opt for gloved touching and better yet no seperation from me.
As for the temp drop....it makes sense to me.
Angela
post #15 of 15
Had a hospital birth, requested no bath. No bath and we're home today. Baby still hasn't had a bath lol
I think I confused them
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