Vernix Caseosa – Must Know Things for Parents

A newborn's face covered with Vernix Caseosa

If you are a pregnant mother or if you have just given birth to a little child, you might have come across this term “Vernix Caseosa”. Although many people are ignorant of the vernix, it is something that is extremely crucial for your baby and also it is also something that will help pregnant women during the delivery time.

Our human body is built in such a way that there are protections and mechanisms to help it cope with the various process such as foreign bodies that might harm us. Sometimes we are just alarmed at how our body functions. Even in newborn babies, there are many amazing things that are happening naturally that is keeping the little one safe. The vernix is one such thing. It is a thin white substance on the skin of the babies that protect the child. This is called vernix caseosa. The vernix is extremely useful to the baby even before the child is born and after as well.

What is Vernix Caseosa?

If this term is new to you, then it’s high time you learn about this miracle formation on a new baby’s skin. The vernix caseosa which is also called vernix is a natural formation on the baby skin that can be seen during childbirth. It’s said to keep the formation on the skin for a while before rubbing it away. Vernix caseosa is something that helps babies stay protected from bacteria and infections while it also keeps the baby’s skin soft and supple.

When Does Vernix Develop?

The Vernix Caseosa is something that you will notice on your little baby when she is just born. However, this formation has been on babies way before they are delivered. It is said that the vernix is formed over the baby’s skin during the third trimester of the mother’s pregnancy. This is evidently noticed during the time of delivery.

What Does it Contain?

The vernix is a thin layer over the baby’s skin that plays a crucial role to protect the little child’s body. The formation is mostly water content, and apart from the water content, there is fat contents as well as proteins. There are also substances that help with the immunity of the child.

What is the Colour of Vernix?

Vernix is mostly white in colour but at times the colour of the vernix changes. Vernic can appear to be yellowish brown, and at times it even gets a slight greenish tinge to it. The colour can change after the baby has pooped for the first time. By this time, you can wipe the vernix away from the skin.

Does it Wash Away Easily?

It is possible to wash the vernix from your baby’s skin. However, it is best not to wash it away, immediately. You can wait for a while and wipe it away from your baby’s skin, instead of washing it away. The WHO has even said that the vernix caseosa after birth can be on the baby for as long as 24 hours. In fact, even weeks later, you might still find some layers lingering here and there. It might not completely come out when you wipe it for the first time.

A mother with her daughter

Should You Delay a Newborn Baby’s First Bath?

The Vernix is something that keeps the baby skin soft and protected. Although many people take the baby for an immediate wash, it is best to delay the first bath for as much time as possible, and the vernix on your little baby will only protect him during the time.

What if Vernix Caseosa is Missing?

There are times when the delivery of the baby is overdue, and during this time vernix is hardly found on the baby. It can even be completely missing as well. This is because the vernix slowly dissolves over time, especially close to the birth time. The vernix actually gets diluted in the amniotic fluid.

Benefits of the Vernix Caseosa

The vernix caseosa has many amazing benefits for the mother and even for the little baby. Some of them are

1. Helps in Delivery

The vernix is quite slippery and helps the mother during delivery as due to its presence the baby slips out a lot easier.

2. Fights Germs

The vernix also helps in fighting bacteria and other germs that are quite harmful to the baby. This is also because the vernix has an antibacterial property and highly protects the child from any such dangers.

3. Acts as a Moisturizer

The vernix is a natural moisturizer that helps keep the child’s skin smooth and soft. Although the vernix of the baby skin looks unpleasant, it is actually keeping the baby skin in healthy condition. Without the vernix, the baby skin will be chapped and might even have wrinkles.

4. Keeps the Body Warm

In many cases, babies are kept in a warm place right after they are born because their bodies are still getting used to the temperature around them. The vernix is a natural layer that helps the baby stay warm.

5. Protection of the Skin 

The vernix is a natural way to help the baby from the acids like the amniotic fluid in which the baby is developing during pregnancy. This also safeguards the little one from infections.

6. It is Special to Human Beings

The vernix is something that is unique to human beings. It has many amazing properties including antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that protect the baby.

There are times when we are not aware of the things that happen when a little baby is born. The body will be finding ways to adapt to the new environment. At times we might be overwhelmed by how things are working out and how the human body is even built. During the time of pregnancy or right after it, it is important to remember that you have to allow the baby to go through the natural process. In fact, there are no scientific or medical ways that can replace the natural ways in which the baby copes with new life. In every way, it is the safest and best.

Also Read:  Peeling Skin in Newborns