Vernix Caseosa

Vernix Caseosa

Have you ever seen that thick white stuff all over baby when they're born? It kind of looks like cheese, or some people even refer to it as birthday frosting! That's Vernix! It's pretty amazing stuff actually. Vernix is what protects the baby's skin from all of the fluid it's floating around in for 9 months. If this vernix wasn't covering babies in the womb their skin would become chapped and wrinkled, like when you stay in the bath too long. Vernix also helps protect baby from infections while in the womb.

Vernix usually starts to show up around 18/19 weeks and starts to thicken until around 34 weeks. If you've had a term or "over due" baby, you may not see too much of the vernix, since it usually starts to fall off into the amniotic fluid after about 35 weeks. It's still possible though for babies born on or past that to have some or even a lot still on them! When the vernix starts to fall of baby in the womb they swallow it, the vernix that baby swallows may help nourish their developing gut bacteria.

Natures lotion. Vernix can help babies skin stay soft and smooth, as well as help with peeling, if rubbed in as lotion instead of being wipe off. The WHO recommends leaving the vernix on baby for at least six hours, and preferably 24 hours. So if you're someone that would rather give baby a bath after birth, try to wait at least 6 hours to give the vernix a little more time to soak in to babies skin.

Did your baby have any vernix to rub in? If so how long did you leave it for?

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