One thing that my daughter worried about after she had her baby was caring for the umbilical cord. Many new parents get worried about this and wonder how to care for it. Therefore, in this post, we will go over how to care for this, but before we do, let us go through a few things. Once you baby has arrived, the Doctor or Midwife will clamp the umbilical cord and then cut it leaving about a 3cm long stump. After a couple of days when this has dried and sealed this clamp will be taken off, and after about 7 or 8 days this should drop off after turning a black colour and shriveling up, leaving a small wound that will heal and become your baby’s navel.
What is very important in cord care is keeping the cord clean and dry thus preventing infection. You can do this by top and tailing baby or giving a bath. Many parents worry about the cord stump getting wet, but it is safe, just pat the stump dry VERY GENTLY with a soft dry clean towel. What is advisable is letting the cord stump dry before putting on baby’s nappy. Please do not let the baby get cold whilst doing this, dress the top half of the baby and keep warm until it is time to put the nappy on, then continue dressing and wrap your baby. Years ago, when I had my babies we were advised to use a cotton bud and some antiseptic on the cord stump; however, that is not common practice now. Remember, if at all worried; discuss your worries with your Doctor or Midwife.
Next, we need to discuss cord care when changing baby’s nappy:
At all costs, you must not let the cord get any urine of faeces on it. If using a disposable nappy especially made for newborns, one way is to tuck the top of the nappy down below the cord. My daughter and her husband did this, and it was very effective. When it comes time to change baby’s nappy, a little cord care tip from my daughter; cover the cord with a tissue then a baby wipe (the disposable wipes you buy to clean baby at a nappy change) before undoing the nappy; change the nappy making sure you clean and cream well. Then once the clean nappy is on, fold the top down, and remove the tissue and wipe. Do not panic if for some reason, the cord does get a little urine or faeces on it; it is not the end of the world! Using a little baby wash that is PH neutral, clean the area thoroughly and allow it to dry.
2 more things that are most important in cord care they may seem obvious, but are very important:
-Let the stump drop off naturally do not pull on it.
-Wash Your Hands before, after a nappy change, and before touching the cord. Another little tip is once you have washed and dried your hands squirt a little hand sanitizer and massage into your hands, then you know they are really clean. You can buy this hand sanitizer in various sizes, but the most economical is a large bottle with a pump. From that, you fill pocket-sized bottles to take with you when going out with your baby so you always will have clean hands when handling.
Now I know one burning question you will ask, is “how long will it take for the cord stump to completely heal?” the answer to that is around 10 days. Sometimes you may see a little blood on the nappy from this area, but do not panic, that is perfectly normal. Please remember, if you are at all worried about your baby’s cord stump, if it becomes a little weepy or smelly or baby appears unwell, contact your Doctor immediately. Until Next time.
It is important to note that information contained in this post is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical practitioner