Made of sebum (skin oil) and cells that have sloughed off as your baby has grown, vernix caseosa helps form a barrier between your baby’s skin and the surrounding amniotic fluid.
Vernix’s role is to protect a fetus and newborn. It’s often waxy or cream cheese-like in texture and can help newborns regulate body temperature and retain water in their first few hours earthside (Singh and Archana, NCBI NIH, 2008). The WHO recommends leaving the vernix on your baby for at least six hours, and preferably 24.
- It has antimicrobial properties
- Lubrication through the birth canal
- Helps regulate a baby’s body temperature
- Moisturizes your baby’s skin