The Care of the Umbilical Cord

Eve Sherrill York By Eve Sherrill York, 8th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Pregnancy

The work the umbilical cord has done during the pregnancy and how to care for the remainder of it until it falls off.


Your new baby was been kept nourished by this cord and now it is just a little stub of what it once was. It will soon be gone and there is some stages it will go through and things that need to be done to get it on its way. Within two or three weeks it will have shriveled and be gone.

In the past it was the practice to use rubbing alcohol on the cord stump but data has shown that this is not the case. Actually just leaving it with no bandages or wraps on it is best. Just wipe it lightly with a Q-tip or cotton tipped applicator to clean away any moist debris that may have accumulated there. This is all you need to do to the area.


Disposable diapers may be best right now. You can just fold it down alittle at the top to avoid covering the cord or use one with a notch cut in it where the cord is located. The cord is going to darken, shrivel, harden and then fall off. You will want to let air circulate it and this will help it to dry out. Using the same tissue you use to clean the baby before putting on a fresh diaper is not advisable. It might transfer feces or other dirt and cause infection. Letting the diaper rub against the cord isn't a good idea either as this can cause.


In the early days before the cord stump drops away it may be best to give your baby sponge baths. This is better than submerging the cord in the water. Keeping it dry and clean is important and it should drop off in no time and then you can start using a bath tub or sink for your baby's baths.

What to watch for:

* A bad odor or oozing yellow pus, red and swollen means it may be infected and you will want to call the doctor immediately.

* If it is just red around the cord it can be due to the dry stump irritating the skin. To see for sure what is causing the redness push the cord away from the reddened area. With a pen mark the margin around the area. After about 30-60 minutes check the area and if the redness has spread past the mark you made you will want to call the doctor. If, on the other hand, it hasn't it is just irritation from the stump and will take care of itself in a while.

* You may see occasional bleeding from the navel and as the blood vessels separate this will be normal. Apply a little pressure for several minutes(5-7) and this should eliminate the bleeding. If it doesn't call the physician.

* Some swelling after the cord falls off or even oozing slightly is called an umbilical granuloma. The doctor will probably treat this with a drying agent called silver nitrate.


Caring For The Cord, Umbilical Cord Care

Meet the author

author avatar Eve Sherrill York
I am an award winning author and have enjoyed writing online for about a dozen years now. I like to write about what interests me and that list is long.

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