Shahnta Hoare, from the US, welcomed her son in early May and she’s intending to keep him unwashed. The mum claims the fluid on his skin from birth is “anti-microbial”
Mum-of-four Shahnta Hoare, from Silverdale in Washington, US, gave birth to her son Ozzy Alexander earlier this month at home and has since been sharing her postpartum care on TikTok.
Shahnta insisted that they are not going to wash the vernix off because it ‘gives a protective barrier’ to the baby and is ‘an antimicrobial’
The 24-year-old said it was an intense but quick delivery and after giving birth, she didn’t clean Ozzy and kept the vernix caseosa, which is essentially a white and creamy biofilm, covering his body. She said: “So we actually don’t give baths for the first month. What you see in the home birth video stayed on him until it just naturally came off.
‘It helps newborns regulate their body temperature with skin to skin, it gives a protective barrier and is an antimicrobial as well.’ said Shahnta.
She opened up about her plans to keep Ozzy covered in the vernix caseosa in a TikTok video which quickly went viral – receiving more than nine millions views and sparking a major debate between viewers. ‘We actually don’t give baths for, like, the first month,’ she explained in the clip. ‘Ozzy didn’t get wiped off of anything. What you see in that video stayed on him until it naturally came off.
‘Vernix is actually really good to keep on their skin, it’s super, super moisturizing. It’s almost a little oily.
‘He had it in his neck creases, in his ears, fingers, toes, it’s the best. I know it is maybe gross to some but when it’s your own baby, you’re like, this stuff is so good.
The mom added: “He won’t get his first bath for, like, many more weeks.” And in a follow-up clip, she explained her stance even further, insisting that, “Newborns really aren’t dirty … their skin is really fragile and really delicate and it can get dried out really easy.”
Many viewers were disgusted by Shahnta’s decision to not clean off her baby, and they took to the comment section to share their thoughts.
However, others agreed with Shahnta’s position on bathing, and revealed that they did the same thing with their kids.
‘I’m a student midwife and what you are saying is what we do recommend,’ said someone else. ‘Even the gunkiest babies look super clean by like two hours postpartum.’
‘It doesn’t naturally come off, it absorbs. It’s the best thing for their skin,’ claimed a different TikTok user. ‘I didn’t bathe my fifth [kid] for a month too.’
‘Newborns really aren’t dirty, they don’t get dirty,’ she said. ‘Their bums and stuff, you can clean, but there’s no reason to use soap.
She asked her viewers to remember that anyone can do whatever they want with their own children.
‘Please remember, what you want to do with your baby is totally fine, I do not judge you. If you want to wipe off your baby and give them a bath before you even touch them, that is your choice. If you don’t want to bathe your baby for the first two months, that’s also your choice.” she added.
Vernix caseosa is a ‘protective coating that forms on baby’s skin in utero,’ BabyAztoday.com reported.
‘It is a thick, greasy substance made of water, fatty acids, and proteins, and it creates a moisturizing barrier for your baby’s skin. ‘The vernix protects and hydrates babies’ delicate skin so that it does not chap or wrinkle.’ However, it only recommends to keep the vernix on your baby’s skin for a ‘day or so.’
In 2017, the World Health Organization released a statement on postponing baths right after birth, saying: “Bathing should be delayed to after 24 hours of birth. If this is not possible due to cultural reasons, bathing should be delayed for at least six hours.”
Likewise, a 2017 study by the International Childbirth Education Association determined that the vernix caseosa acts as a protective biofilm that aids the new tot’s changing skin in staying “hydrated,” which prevents “cracking and peeling.”
However, waiting a full month may be pushing hygiene to its limit.
Do you think it’s good or not good to not wash newborn baby?