No, your newborn isn’t dirty! That’s vernix caseosa, a powerfully protective, “water proof” coating that covers baby’s skin in utero and prevents heat loss after birth.
Vernix can aid in the passage through the birth canal and act as a physical barrier against bacteria. It’s also theorized that vernix helps in the development of healthy microbiota for your babe.
So we don’t need to rush to wash it off. More and more evidence-based birth facilities are significantly delaying baby’s first bath or not offering it at all.
When you are holding your newborn baby some of the vernix might also get onto your own skin. You don’t need to wash that off either! Think of it as some extra moisturizer that is good for your skin too. Just rub it right in.
Ask your postpartum doula about all the benefits.
Did your newborn baby have vernix on her skin at birth?