Umbilical Cord Care
Throughout your pregnancy, your baby receives nourishment from you through his umbilical cord. After birth, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, leaving the umbilical stump. While umbilical cords were once considered waste and discarded, there are parents today who save the stump for umbilical cord banking. Regardless of whether you save the umbilical cord or not, after 2-3 weeks, the stump will dry out and fall off, leaving a small wound which may take a few days to heal.
Keeping it Clean
The stump should be kept clean and dry and not beneath the diaper where it will be exposed to urine and moisture. Even after the stump has fallen off, try and avoid exposing the wound to moisture until it has completely healed. Allow the wound to get as much air as possible.
In the past, many people cleaned the wound with rubbing alcohol; however, new research has shown that leaving it alone will actually help the wound heal faster. Although rubbing alcohol may kill bacteria, it may also kill the good bacteria that helps the stump dry out and fall off.
Signs of an Infection
- The navel and surrounding area appear red and swollen
- Pus appears at the base of the stump
- Your baby has a fever
If there is any sign of an infection, contact your doctor immediately.
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