Let’s talk about Vernix!

You’ve carried your little baby inside you for 9 long months, and the day has arrived and you finally get to meet her face to face. As you pull her up to you, you soak in her sweet features, little fingers and toes, squishy nose and then realize that she is covered in a thick, white layer of… yuck.

But don’t be alarmed! Your baby is completely fine.

That white, cheesy looking substance coating your baby is actually vernix. Vernix is a naturally occurring biofilm that covers your baby during your last trimester. It may look gross and seem a bit off-putting, but over here at Holistic Midwifery Care, we love vernix. So today let’s talk about what exactly it is and why it’s so good for the baby!

Vernix is the body’s way of preparing the baby for delivery and exposure to the outside world. It helps the baby transition from the womb to living in the “real world” and provides numerous benefits, such as:

  • Aids in temperature regulation
  • It acts as a mechanical antimicrobial cover against bacteria during and after delivery
  • Vernix also contains antimicrobial peptides that aid in defense against bacteria
  • Keeps the baby’s skin from drying out
  • It contains antioxidant properties (specifically vitamin E and melanin)
  • Can aid in the healing of wounds on the skin

And so much more!

This is why when your baby is born looking all cheesy and white, rather than rubbing it off I tell you to rub it in. We want it to soak into the baby’s skin so we can take advantage of the amazing properties of the vernix your body has helped to create. And if some gets on you, just look at it as a special gift from your baby and rub it in. We can call it the postnatal spa treatment!

Was your baby born with a lot of vernix?

Source: National Library of Medicine

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