Should Breastfeeding Be Prioritized Over Newborn's First Bath?

Women are encouraged to no longer be "grossed out" by newborn babies and to start breastfeeding earlier to increase bonding and benefit the children.

source: Medela

After giving birth, mothers are advised to no longer be "grossed out" by the coating of blood and amniotic fluid covering the newborn babies to increase the breastfeeding rates in America and all over the world.

A study sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic revealed that when health officials delay bathing newborns, mothers can breastfeed more.

Data shows that the nursing team at Hillcrest Hospital found that by pushing back the baby’s first bath 12 hours after birth saw the rise of its breastfeeding climb to 72 percent.

The study's author, nursing professional development specialist Heather DiCioccio, said most babies get a sponge bath almost immediately after delivery because people are generally disgusted by the blood and other fluid covering them.

DiCioccio said the change implemented in the medical center in 2015 -- delayed bathing -- had benefitted both mothers and babies.

The physician confessed: “That’s how we’ve always done it. We finally got to the point of saying ‘why?’”

DiCioccio went on to reveal that more and more mothers have now added the bath delay in their birth plan thanks to word of mouth.

The doctor shared: “Moms were coming into the hospital with this request as part of their written birth plan. They were reading it on the internet on mom blogs, and their friends were telling them about it.”

DiCioccio gave a long list of reasons why delaying a bath might help babies including the fact that it reduces stress in the newborn, and therefore babies latch on faster and start breastfeeding immediately. 

According to DiCioccio, when the baby's bath is delayed, nurses wipe the blood off and give the baby to the new mother for skin-to-skin which comes with multiple benefits, including bonding, temperature regulation, and easing breastfeeding.

Some mothers have gone the extra mile, according to the doctor who added that a few of them declined to let the nurses bathe their babies during the three-day stay at the hospital.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that women exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of life because data shows that it helps with the child's development of the brain, immune, and digestive systems.

Do you think this will have a big impact on the child's development?