Umbilical Cord Care
The umbilical cord plays a vital role during pregnancy. Beside being the only tube-like structure that connects to the mothers, the umbilical is the life lune that supplies nutrients and oxygen to the developing foetus.
After birth, the umbilical cord is no longer needed as the baby can now breathe and feed on his/her own. There is clamped and cut, leaving a 2-3 cm stump.
The stump will fall off about 1-3 weeks after birth. The only remaining sign of its existence is the belly button that stays with your baby forever.
Guide to good cord care
- Always keep the umbilical stump clean and dry. This helps to the healing process and prevents infection.
- Clean the base of the stump with a cotton bud dipped in warm water. The American Academy of Padiatrics recommend using a little rubbing alcohol to minimise the risk of infection, especially if your baby is born premature.
- You can also wash the stump with plain water or a mild soap. Make sure you pat the area dry before re-diapering your baby.
- Fold the diaper down to leave stump expose to air. This keeps the stump dry and away from the waste collected in the diaper.
- Do not pull the stump to break it off. Let it come away in its own course.
- It is normal to see a little blood or lumpy flesh after the stump falls off.
- Your baby is ready for a tub bath after the stump falls off.
When to see a doctor
- Your baby appears unwell with fever, is lethargic and refuse to feed.
- Swelling or redness in the navel area.
- The stump is swollen, smelly or weepy.
Published : 17-Jun-2021