What is Vernix Caseosa?
Posted on 23/05/14 4:57 PM
While it sounds more like a spell from Harry Potter Vernix Caseosa is a natural substance that contains a number of unique health benefits for our babies. Our resident health expert and Registered Nurse Fianee Laskey tells us what we need to know.
Vernix Caseosa or Vernix for short is the white substance coating your newborn baby’s skin making them look like they have possibly been dipped in duck fat or your Nana’s lard jar before being born. There is growing clinical and scientific evidence for keeping Vernix Caseosa on your baby’s skin for as long as you can. Along with facilitating your baby’s passage into the world Vernix has waterproofing properties, if left on the skin it may help your baby conserve heat in the first few days after being born when we know they are acclimatising to a colder environment. Studies have also shown that Vernix contains immune properties similar to breast milk which are effective in inhibiting the growth of some harmful bacteria on your newborn or at the very least forming a physical barrier to the passage of bacteria through your baby’s very sensitive and permeable skin.
I would encourage you not to see Vernix as something needing to be removed as soon as possible from your baby. Step out on a limb and possibly surprise a few relatives or nurses by rubbing the Vernix into your baby’s skin soon after being born to moisturise and protect your precious newborn as well as assisting with heat retention. Leave the Vernix on for as long as you can and then when you do have that special first wash use only water. It will leave your baby’s skin looking and smelling just divine. In my opinion this is all your baby’s skin needs at this stage – not even natural baby wash products are required – save your pennies for something else!
When using this blog please use common sense. The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge and is not a substitute for professional advice (or as a diagnostic tool). If you have any health concerns, seek the advice of a registered medical professional.