Birthday Cake Icing

What in the world is Vernix Caseosa?! Well, where I like to refer to this stuff as Birthday cake icing, most people like to call it the “gross” white stuff that’s on your baby when it’s born. This protective cream forms on your baby during the third trimester, it’s meant to be protective to your baby in many ways. It’s there to help with water loss (the transition of your skins water retention after birth), temperature regulation after birth, skin hydration and innate immunity! It also plays a key role in the transition phase of birth. You’re probably asking how the heck this stuff forms on your babies skin, well when your baby is the amniotic sac there is a continue shedding of cells on your babies skin as it grows and develops within you. Once the third trimester hits the fetus starts forming sebum secretions which combine with the cells that then combine together and create this thick icing layer all over your baby! I know it sounds a little gross, but isn’t that the coolest thing! Your body aids the baby in preparation for its biggest transition and birth into this world with an extra protective layer for one its its most vital organs, its skin! Now once your baby is born there is a couple things you could see. Depending on how early or late your baby is born you could see a lot or a little of this self made cream. If you have a “well cooked” baby you usually won’t see a ton of vernix on the child since it’s pretty much been absorbed into it’s skin (which is the ultimate goal anyways). Some babies also just don’t produce a ton of it, that’s also normal. It can also tell us many things about the health of your baby and what was happening inside. If there is discoloring it can declare sickness or disease or fetal distress (this would be brown since it would show the release of the first poop aka meconium). After birth it’s almost tradition for doctors to whisk your baby away and give it its first bath to wipe off that “gunk” but you don’t have to! You also truly shouldn’t be giving your baby a bath so quick. You should rub that vernix right into your babies beautiful skin and allow them to absorb all the vitamins and protective nutrients that you both produced together for them. They deserve to be put to your bare chest and cherished after the biggest moment in both of your lives. We should celebrate Vernix, not fear it!




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