The way we treat newborns is wrong according to study

Important news about newborn baths
The way we treat newborns is wrong according to study

When a baby is born, many hospitals welcome him or her to the world with a warm sponge bath.

However, a new study says that’s not what we should do at all. If a baby is left unbathed for the first half-day of its life it bonds better with the mother and gets the hang of breastfeeding easier. Those are the findings of a new study done out of the Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.

“Moms were coming into the hospital with this request as part of their written birth plan,” says study author Heather DiCioccio. “They were reading it on the Internet on mom blogs, and their friends were telling them about it.”

So in April 2016, Hillcrest nurses began putting the whole bath question to the test.

With 996 pairs of healthy newborns and moms, the staff gave 448 of the babies a bath after about two hours and the other 548 a bath after at least 12 hours.

Here’s what they found: Breastfeeding rates jumped from 59.8% to 68.2% among newborns who waited for their bath. Hard to say why, but extra skin-to-skin time with mom may calm the newborn for suckling, while the smell of amniotic fluid still covering the baby may be a cue that encourages breastfeeding–which research shows is healthy for babies and mothers alike.

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