Fetal ointment - when it is produced and what functions does it perform

Fetal ointment - when it is produced and what functions does it perform

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I think every future mother has ever heard of fetal fluid. Usually, however, the baby is shown to the mother immediately after delivery, as a result drying and wiping (these actions protect against cold and stimulate the toddler to breathe properly) he is already more or less deprived of this substance. So what exactly is fetal ointment when its production begins and what are its basic functions?

Fetal goat - what is that?

Fetal goo (from Latin vernix caseosa) called differently fetal liniment is a substance covering fetuses during their intrauterine development and newborns, which have just been born (interestingly, it occurs not only in humans, but also in all mammals). Its production is already beginning during intrauterine life, and the ointment itself covers the skin of the fetus from the fifth month of pregnancy.

The fetal ointment contains secretions from the sebaceous glands of the child, exfoliated cells, as well as Italian fetal flies and amniotic epithelial secretions (the membrane that surrounds the fetus and forms the fetal bladder). What's more is slippery, greasy substance of white and yellow color and has moisturizing, regenerating and cleansing properties for the toddler's skin. After childbirth, it is absorbed spontaneously within a few days, therefore it should not be removed too quickly from the body of the newborn (postpartum wiping and drying the baby is allowed).

What are the functions of fetal fluid?

Fetal ointment is extremely important for the fetus and the newborn, because it performs several key functions both during intrauterine development and during the very birth of the child.

The first and most important function of fetal fluid is hers protective role against fetal tissues. Fetal flow is a barrier that separates a child's body from the surrounding waters. Thanks to its presence, the toddler's skin is protected against excessive maceration and can properly develop and mature overnight. In addition, fetal ointment with amniotic fluid they act as a non-specific immune barrier (that is, a barrier that protects the child from any type of infectious and inflammatory factors).

Fetal ointment also plays an extremely important role during childbirth itself. Thanks to its greasy and slippery consistency, it makes it easier for the child to make appropriate turns and streamlines the process of passing through the birth canal. This results in a significant reduction in the duration of childbirth and reduces the likelihood of injury to the mother (vaginal and birth canal injuries) and the toddler himself.

In the first days after delivery, fetal ointment also does not lose its relevance and performs moisturizing functions and ensures the correct pH of the skin. In addition, it perfectly heals wounds and irritation associated with delivery and cleanses and cares for the baby's epidermis.
Despite many positive features and functions of fetal ointment, it is also worth mentioning that between 26-36 weeks of pregnancy it has isolating properties, which makes it somewhat difficult to measure fetal heart rate, thus reducing the quality of recorded records during CTG.

Fetal goat and newborn age

Fetal goo is used (along with other features) to assess the fetal age of a newborn baby. This happens in cases where doctors find it difficult to determine the age of the child based on the date of the mother's last menstrual period (for example, in the case of irregular cycles). For this purpose, the so-called is used Ballard scale which one of the parameters determining the toddler's age and maturity is the amount of fetal fluid covering him.

So, extreme premature babies will almost not be covered with ointment, the amount of which increases gradually with the baby's gestational age (at the end of the 7th month, the amount begins to decrease again). For this reason, full-term babies (born on time, between 38-42 weeks of pregnancy) will be covered with fetal synovia to a much lesser extent, compared to 32-36 weeks old premature babies.

For a newborn born after the date of delivery (after 42 weeks of pregnancy), i.e. "Transferred" may occur so-called transmission syndrome (it affects about 10-20% of expired pregnancies). This syndrome is most often characterized by a reduced amount of subcutaneous tissue, a lack of fetal nap and a complete lack of fetal fluid.

In summary, the right amount of fetal fluid is very important for the baby both during his intrauterine development, during delivery and the first days outside the mother's abdomen.

Bibliography:Obstetrics and gynecology by Grzegorz H. BręborowiczCare for a pregnant woman by Agnieszka M. BieńBaby care by Agnieszka Balanda