Three frequently asked questions of your Newborn Umbilical Cord.

What is the main Purpose of the Newborn Umbilical Cord. ?

Babies are connected to the placenta in the mother’s uterus through the umbilical cord. The purpose of the umbilical cord is to convey oxygen and food to the fetus and to eliminate the waste generated by them. Take into account that babies do not swallow food through their mouths nor do they urinate/defecate until they are newborns.

How long will my Newborn Baby have an umbilical stump?

Within 10 to 21 days, the stump will dry up and drop off, leaving a small wound that may take a few days to heal.
Because the newborn umbilical cord may be a place for infection to enter the baby´s body, it is important to care for it properly.

What special care should I give to the Umbilical Stump?

Your baby's physician will give you instructions on how to keep the cord clean.

  •  First of all, Never try to pull your newborn umbilical cord off. What will speed the separation process is keeping the stump dry.

  • Expose the umbilical cord to air. (Fold the diaper down out of the way.)

  • A baby should not be bathed until the umbilical cord has fallen off. Until then, just gently sponge off the skin, to protect against infection. Some pediatricians say the contrary .You do what your doctor considers is best for your baby.

  • Apply alcohol to the base of the stump (let it dry and then wipe away any residual moisture).

Call your baby's physician if there is:

  • Bleeding from the end of the cord or the area near the skin.

  • Pus (a yellow or white discharge).

  • Swelling or redness around the navel.

  • Signs that the navel area is painful to your baby.

There may be a small amount of blood after the cord falls off, but this should stop quickly. Mum and Dad are often concerned about a baby's navel being an "innie" or an "outie." There is no way to predict this or make the navel look one way or another. Contrary to popular traditions, taping a coin or other flat object over the navel does not help.

Once your newborn umbilical cord falls, your baby´s navel could swell a little and could continue supurating a little. This is called umbilical granuloma. Your physician could treat it with a special medication of silver nitrate.


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