Baby Umbilical Cord Care
Once the delivery is over, the midwife or doctor clamps the umbilical cord and then makes an incision by leaving behind a 3cm stump. After two days, when this has dried, the clamp will be removed. This stump will dry and shrink in a week’s time and the only remnant will be a tiny black spot or scar becoming the navel of the baby.
It is very important to keep the cord clean and dry which will minimize infection chances and this can be achieved by top-tailing the baby or bathing the baby. A major concern among the parents is about the cord getting wet accidently. You should be aware that it is absolutely safe to dry the stump using a clean towel. This should be done very gently. Let the stump dry before putting the nappy. Make sure to dress the top half of the baby and keep him warm while doing this. Now you can wrap the baby in a nappy after making sure the cord stump is dry. In earlier days, a cotton bud and some antiseptic were used on the stump to heal it. But nowadays nobody does that. In case you are worried about this, make sure to discuss all your worries to either midwife or doctor.
Now, let us discuss about how the cord care is done while you change the nappy. Care should be taken to see that the cord stump of the baby does not get wet with the feces or urine while changing the nappy. In case of disposable nappies for the babies the nappy should be tucked below the cord stump. It should be noted that while changing the nappy the cord should be covered with a tissue and a baby wipe. After that you can change the nappy, fold the top down and remove the tissue and the wipe. If at all the baby cord gets wet for some reason, don’t panic. You can use a baby wash which is PH neutral to clean the area. Once cleaned let it dry.
Two other important things are also to be remembered regarding cord care. First thing is to let the cord stump to dry off and fall on its own and it should not be pulled manually. Another important thing is to wash your hands both before and after a nappy change. You can also use some sanitizer while cleaning your hands. This hand sanitizer comes in various sizes. The most economical option is to buy a large sized bottle with a pump fitted to it and then refill small-sized bottles. By this way you can carry it when you go out with your baby.
Now, you should be wondering how long it will take the cord stump to fall or heal up. It is about ten days normally and sometimes there may be blood stains on the nappy area covering the cord. This is absolutely normal and there is no need to panic. But if the cord appears to be smelly or weepy and baby is unwell please contact your doctor immediately.
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