Objective:Skin provides several important homeostatic functions to the developing neonate. However, no consensus guidelines exist in the United States for skin care in the healthy term newborn.Study Design:We performed a study of skin and umbilical cord care (including bathing practices, vernix removal and antiseptic cord application) in newborn nurseries and mother–baby units throughout the state of Maryland to determine practices in a variety of clinical settings and assess if uniformity in skin care exists. These data were then assessed in the context of a review of the current literature.Results:We received responses from over 90% of nurseries across the state. In our cohort, practices varied widely between institutions and specific populations, and often were not evidence-based or were contrary to best practices discussed in the scientific literature.Conclusion:The frequent departures from evidence that occur regarding the aforementioned practices are likely due to a lack of consensus on these issues as well as limited data on such practices, further highlighting the need for data-driven guidelines on newborn skin care.Journal of Perinatology advance online publication, 22 December 2016; doi:10.1038/jp.2016.226.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology