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Vernix; the white coating of a newborn, why is it integral for health?

Vernix is the white coating on a newborn which is an integral part of a newborns health and wellbeing in the first few weeks of their lives. Unfortunately parents do not know nor are they taught of the benefits of vernix by their health professionals. Due to the lack of knowledge parents have, newborns are generally washed and removed of vernix within their first few days of live. So what are the benefits? Vernix helps to regulate a babies thermal regulation, as it takes five days for a baby to have the ability to regulate their own temperature. Vernix also allows the skin to adapt to the outside world, as a newborns skin needs to reduce in hydration and pH due to the changes from womb to their new environment. Birth is also a traumatic event for babies causing a great deal of oxidative stress, thankfully vernix exhibits antioxidant properties to reverse the oxidative stress caused on the newborn. Vernix also greatly reduces infection rate as it acts as a barrier to stop the penetration of bacteria. It also helps to heal wounds, this is essential as it protects the newborns against wounds that may occur through the birthing process. Vernix also acts as a moisturiser and skin protector for newborns. Due to these amazing properties vernix exhibits it is not recommended to wash your baby until they are three weeks earthside. This ensures the newborn has received all the benefits of the amazing vernix.

Reference Please note I have left the study in link form so you can easily click and access the study.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763724/

Image via: @clair_wanders

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