Illinois hospital offers delayed baths for newborns

A hospital in central Illinois is offering delayed first baths for healthy newborns as part of a low-tech approach to infant care.
The Springfield Journal-Register reports that Memorial Medical Center began offering the delayed baths in early June. The initiative lets the hospital wait at least 24 hours before giving newborns their first bath, rather than within the first hour or two of life.
World Health Organization officials have recommended the new policy. They say the creamy substance covering most babies at birth helps with insulation and keeps them warm, allowing infants to conserve energy, avoid low blood sugar and promote effective breastfeeding.
Hospital officials say the approach could lead to fewer medical interventions, fewer days in the hospital for babies and lower costs overall.

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