The blood vessels of umbilical cord nourish an unborn child, when he is still in the mother's womb. Oxygen and all the nutrients of the mother are supplied to the fetus, through the umbilical cord. Hence, the cord plays a pivotal role in the overall development of the fetus. Soon after the birth of the baby, the doctor puts a plastic clamp on the umbilical cord and cuts it off, leaving a one-inch umbilical stump attached to the baby's body. The umbilical stump (sometimes known as umbilical cord) eventually drops off, within three weeks after the birth.
The period before the fall of the umbilical cord is very crucial for the baby as well as the mother. For the parent, it is the time to take proper care of the newborn, because the umbilical cord is highly sensitive to skin irritation and various kinds of infection. The cord needs to be dried well, before it falls off naturally. If you do not know how to take care of the newborn's umbilical cord, then you are reading the right article. Go through the following lines and get some tips on taking care of your baby's umbilical cord.
Taking Care Of Your Baby's Umbilical Stump
Cleaning The Umbilical Cord
- You need to clean your newborn's umbilical cord, to avoid any kind of infection. Since no nerves are located in the cord, cleaning it won't prove painful to your child.
- For the purpose, make use of cotton balls or swabs. Dip the cotton balls/swabs in rubbing alcohol.
- Now, wipe the soaked cotton swab around the base of the cord, next to the baby's skin. Thoroughly clean the area between the cord and the skin.
- If your baby cries when the soaked cotton ball comes in contact with the umbilical cord, then need not worry - it is due to the cold sensation due to the use of rubbing alcohol.
Keep The Umbilical Cord Dry
- It is vital to keep the umbilical cord stump dry, to avoid any kind of skin irritation or infection.
- Allow fresh air to pass through the cord, to keep it dry.
- While putting on the diaper, always fold down its top edge. By doing so, the diaper would not rub against or cover the cord.
Some More Tips
- Give your baby clean sponge baths, until the umbilical cord falls off naturally. Avoid the cord getting wet, while bathing your newborn. If the cord gets wet by chance, then dry it immediately by wiping it with a cotton ball/swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.
- Be sure to clean the umbilical cord after every diaper change, if your doctor has recommended to do so.
- In case you notice redness, swelling around the cord, discharge or bad odor from the stump, contact your doctor immediately.
- The umbilical stump should naturally fall off by three weeks after the birth. If the cord persists to stay in the place even after the stipulated time, consult your doctor.
- If the cord stays moist even after two to three days of birth, consult the physician.