Delaying baby’s first bath may bring benefits

(Robert Preidt/ Health Day News) — If you want breastfeeding to go smoothly, you might want to ask the hospital to delay that first bath for your newborn, new research suggests.

For decades, it’s been standard procedure to give newborns a bath within the first few hours after birth, but the new finding suggests that waiting 12 or more hours before doing so may promote breastfeeding.

The study included nearly 1,000 mother-newborn pairs. Just under half of the newborns had their first bath shortly after birth, while that bath was delayed for just over half of the newborns.

Rates of exclusive breastfeeding during their hospital stay were 59.8 percent for newborns in the typical bath group and 68.2 percent in the delayed bath group, the researchers found. (…)

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