Caring for baby’s umbilical cord after birth is simpler than it might seem, you might forgotten some steps involved from your antenatal classes and that’s why this article is here to remind you. Don’t Panic…
First, what is an umbilical cord?
The umbilical cord is the tube-like structure connected to the mother through the baby that carries food and oxygen from a mother to their developing baby. It also carries waste products away from the baby so the mother’s body can get rid of them.
After the umbilical cord is cut at birth, a stump of tissue remains attached to your baby’s belly button (navel). The stump gradually dries and shrivels until it falls off, usually 1 to 2 weeks after birth but can take as long as 21 days.
Taking care of the stump:
– Keep the cord clean and dry at all times. dab it gently with Methylated spirit swabs, every 2 hours. You clean from stump out and then pat with a dry cloth.
– Leave the cord alone until it falls off by itself.
– Stick to sponge baths. Don’t dunk that navel underwater for now. Once the stump falls off, feel free to bathe your baby in his pint-sized tub.
– Keep your baby’s diaper folded below the umbilical cord stump. It helps prevent diaper contents, such as urine, from irritating the stump.
If your baby has a messy bowel movement and some stool gets on the cord, clean it gently with soap and water. Check the cord often for infections. Call your doctor if you see:
-Blood on the end of the cord
– A white or yellow discharge
– Swelling or redness around the cord
– Signs that the area around the cord causes your baby pain (for example, they cry when you touch it)
– Also, talk to your baby’s doctor if the stump still hasn’t separated after three weeks. This might be a sign of an underlying problem, such an infection or immune system disorder.
Resist removing the stump!!!