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What are reasons for not having the hospital (if you will give birth in a hospital) bathe your baby? Do you not bathe the baby the entire time you are there or just not the first day? School me, please!
 

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I don't know any reasons not to have the hospital bathe the baby. In fact, if you're not real experienced at it yourself (like, say, me!), you might ask a staff person you trust show you how they do it.<br>
I know you (or the hospital) is not supposed to submerge the baby until the umbilical stump falls off.<br>
If are particular about soaps, lotions, and their ingrediants, you'll want to let the staff know that. You may want to bring your own for them to use.<br>
I remember being surprised, when my nephew was born, how icky he smelled right after birth. The kid smelled bad (or bad IMO). He had a lot of hair, and washing it made all the difference.
 

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Their skin has a special coating on it. Best just to leave and let soak in.<br><br>
Cant remember all the fine points about it.<br><br>
We dont wash our babes till their are about 2 weeks old. We will however get places that dirty with a wash cloth and plain water.<br><br>
We love the smell of newborns <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yummy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yummy">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>momto l&a</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8227100"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We love the smell of newborns <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yummy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yummy"></div>
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Maybe it was just my nephew. He continues to be a little stinker to this day. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Well, other than washing off the blood or meconium if there is any, there is really no good reason to bathe the baby. A quick wipe-down with a washcloth should suffice.<br>
Normally babies do not smell bad at all when they are first born, and the vernix protects their skin and should not be scrubbed off, as they tend to do in hospitals. (It is good for mama's skin too!)<br><br>
I thought my babies all smelled heavenly when they were born. And other than my first who was born in the hospital, they did not have a real bath for quite a while. Days, or even weeks perhaps. I washed their bottoms of course, and any milk tht collected in their neck folds but other than that I left them alone.<br><br>
I
 

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We declined the bath for Gus. I assumed that after a day or two I would need to bathe him myself to get the remaining vernix off. To my great surprise, the vernix rubbed in or flaked off on its own, and you would never know to look at this baby that he wasn't bathed. And he smells <i>amazing</i>. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/luxlove.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="throb">
 

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There is something too about colonizing bacteria that is transferred from the mother to the babe. I don't know the details.<br><br>
I have them wait because I think time with family should come first. I think it helps them keep their tempature more stable too. Babies don't like to be undressed and exposed to a bath under the bright lights and noise of the nursery.
 

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My DD was given her first bathe while I was being stitched up (from a 4th degree tear) so I didn't really watch. She was bathed in the room by a nurse I honestly liked. I did not really feel a need to decline a bath - I wanted her to not be covered in "icky stuff"<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> (even though I knew vernix is good for her skin<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: ).<br><br>
DH cried during the bath, not just because he was an emotional new daddy, but he felt it was too harsh. They scrubbed her down. She did not cry. She was fine. However, we'll do a modified gentle bath or none at all in the future.
 

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How sad that mamas feel vernix is icky (even knowing its benefits- I just don't get that- you know something is GOOD for your babe, but do away with it anyway <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">) and how this all seems to be part of a bigger issue with women not trusting, loving, or knowing the power and wonder of their bodies.<br><br>
So sad.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Potty Diva</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8227210"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">How sad that mamas feel vernix is icky (even knowing its benefits- I just don't get that- you know something is GOOD for your babe, but do away with it anyway <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">) and how this all seems to be part of a bigger issue with women not trusting, loving, or knowing the power and wonder of their bodies.<br><br>
So sad.</div>
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Please don't patronize women like this. It's extremely condescending. Some women just don't mythologize every teensy bit of birth effluvia, and that's simply the way it is. While I agree that a hospital bath if often an unneccessary separation, a mother or father choosing to bathe their newborn at a time that feels right to them, even if that's earlier than you might like, is not "sad," but often a very beautiful and bonding experience. You might want to try "trusting" a woman's instinct with her child, even when it differs from your own.<br><br>
Some women plant their placentas, some women eat their placentas, some women are too busy loving on their babies to want to know from their placentas. Some women revere every bit of fluid that clings to their baby from the birth journey, and some want to give a warm and gentle bath before snuggling in. In most cases, a gentle bath (particularly at home) will not remove all of the vernix, and many women I know who have homebirthed have really enjoyed snuggling back into bed after they and their newborns have had a light bath--really starts the lying-in period nicely.
 

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I'm sorry you feel my post was patronizing. It certainly wasn't. I didn't say anything about bathing, but was referring to vernix being icky. I think it IS sad that women have been somehow "tricked" into finding birth or birth fluids "icky." It is extremely sad and disheartening.<br><br>
As for trusting a woman with her own instincts, never said I didn't, in fact I most wholeheartedly do. What I don't trust is the decades of misogyny that has created a hatred of women among women.<br><br>
So please, before you jump the gun, just ask. I would have happily explained, just as I did now.
 

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I just want it all to myself and my DH....<br><br>
Don't want anybody bathing, feeding, loving, petting, grooming, tickling, naming, talking to, or really touching my baby before I get too!!!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:
 

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most people that decline the bath in the hospital do it b/c they don't want the baby taken away from them.....also bathing the, too soon after birth can cause their body temperature to go down, and then they are stuck all alone under a heat lamp for hours...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Individuation</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8227270"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Please don't patronize women like this. It's extremely condescending.</div>
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Thank you.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>50ftQueenie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8228087"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you.</div>
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Excuse me?<br><br>
Remarkable how even after an explanation, someone can still be hateful. Nice.
 

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To answer the OP:<br><br>
From Compleat Mother:<br><a href="http://www.thecompleatmother.com/magazine_offtheline.html" target="_blank">If it comes out that way, it probably is supposed to be that way</a><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">A study showed that the premature removal of vernix from healthy, full term infants can contribute to the potentially devastating effects of microbial infection.</td>
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<a href="http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1595247" target="_blank">http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/art...?artid=1595247</a><br><br><br>
ANTIMICROBIAL PROPERTIES OF AMNIOTIC FLUID AND VERNIX CASEOSA ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE FOUND IN BREAST MILK<br><br>
* Akinbi, H. T., Narendran, V., Pass, A. K., Markart, P., & Hoath, S. B. (2004). Host defense proteins in vernix caseosa and amniotic fluid. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 191(6), 2090–2096.<br><br>
a couple of quotes that stood out...<br><br><b>Tests (Western analysis and immunochemistry) revealed that lysozyme, lactoferrin, human neutrophil peptides 1–3, and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor were present in the amniotic fluid samples and in organized granules embedded in the vernix samples. These immune substances were tested using antimicrobial growth inhibition assays and found to be effective in inhibiting the growth of common perinatal pathogens, including group B. Streptococcus, K. pneumoniae, L. monocytogenes, C. albicans, and E. coli.</b><br><br>
------<br><br><b>The results of this study also call into question the routine use of some newborn procedures. Early bathing of the baby removes vernix, which contains antimicrobial proteins that are active against group B. streptococcus and E. coli. Delaying the bath and keeping the newborn together with his or her mother until breastfeeding is established may prevent some cases of devastating infections caused by these bacteria.</b><br><br>
I knew that vernix was good for the skin but I really didn't know why, other than it keeps it moist. Given the above info it seems important that babies, and especially those born in the hospital, not be scrubbed clean right away.
 
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