You have the choice to accept or decline newborn bathing while you are in the hospital. When you are at home, you have the choice of when you will give the first bath or shower to your newborn.
Below are some links about research on this topic.
Research on Newborn Bathing
Research Shows Waiting to Bathe Newborns Beneficial - This is a link to an article about research that was done by a nurse which prompted policy change in hospitals about waiting to bathe newborns. This article also contains multiple links within it to research related to the topic of the importance of vernix on the skin of the baby, the reduced rate of hypothermia in newborns and the increased rate of breastfeeding when bathing was delayed. Below is a link to the .pdf version of the article.
ICEA Position Paper Delayed Bathing - published by the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA). The bottom of this document contains references to research on the topic.
Here is a picture from page 5 of the World Health Organization (WHO) Recommendations on Newborn Care in regards to newborn bathing: