What is vernix caseosa?
The benefits of fetal sebum during and after pregnancy
Photos of babies with fetal sebum
- What is vernix caseosa?
The vernix caseosa is a protective layer on the baby’s skin. It is white in color, and its texture resembles that of soft cheese. Fetal sebum develops while the baby is still in the womb for this, and pieces of it remain attached to the baby’s skin after birth.
But what does fetal sebum do, and why is it there? First, it is important to understand the environment of the womb, where the baby is growing. For 40 weeks, the fetus is surrounded by amniotic fluid, and fetal sebum protects the baby’s delicate skin from it. Also, the vernix caseosa, contributes to the baby’s skin being smooth and soft after birth and also protects it from infections in the womb.
The amount of fetal sebum decreases as the time of delivery approaches, and it is perfectly normal for some amount of vernix caseosa to be found in the baby even after delivery. Accordingly, babies who are born prematurely are likely to have even more, while finally, babies who are born much later are likely to have none at all.
- The benefits of fetal sebum during and after pregnancy
The benefits of vernix caseosa are not limited to pregnancy. Fetal sebum benefits the baby during and after birth. No matter how much or how little sebum the baby is born with, try to keep it on the baby’s skin as much as possible.
- Fetal sebum has antibacterial properties
Newborns have sensitive immune systems, which means they are prone to disease. Breastfeeding is one way to strengthen the newborn’s immunity, but it is not the only one. Vernix caseosa also protects the baby from infections after birth, and this is because it contains antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
- It helps the baby pass through the birth canal
During childbirth, this layer that covers the skin on the baby’s body and head facilitates the whole process due to its texture.
- It helps the baby maintain a constant body temperature
During pregnancy, the expectant mother’s body plays a crucial role in regulating the baby’s body temperature, and after delivery, it takes time for the baby to be able to do this on its own. Fetal sebum has this role as well, as it stabilizes the baby’s body temperature.
- Moisturizes the baby’s skin
Fetal sebum also moisturizes the baby’s skin and makes it softer after birth while protecting it from dryness.
- Photos of babies with fetal sebum
Birth photos have become very popular in recent years, and many couples are hiring professional photographers to capture the special moments of childbirth. Among the must-have photos are the ones with babies seconds after their birth, while they still have the fetal sebum.