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Cord Care Basics

cordcare_sm.jpg Cord Care Basics
How to Take Proper Care of the Umbilical Cord


Umbilical cords are one of the first tests of mommy stamina. You’ve got a beautiful new baby then you look down, and think “Whoa! What happened down there!?" 
 

cordcare_lg.jpg Cord Care Basics
How to Take Proper Care of the Umbilical Cord


Umbilical cords are one of the first tests of mommy stamina. You’ve got a beautiful new baby then you look down, and think “Whoa! What happened down there!?”
 

 




No matter how unnatural the umbilical cord stump may seem, it is a key part of getting your baby here safely. When your baby was in the womb, the umbilical cord supplied nutrients and oxygen to your developing baby. Now that your baby has entered the real world, he no longer needs the cord so it is cut off after birth. It’s time for some cleanup duty so that your baby can heal properly and safely.

Don’t go overboard: it may not be okay to swab the stump with rubbing alcohol. You want to keep the stump clean and dry. Experts say the stump may heal faster if left alone. Until it falls off, it’s only safe to sponge wash your baby with a warm washcloth. Once the stump falls off, you can give your baby a real bath in the baby tub.

In order for the stump to stay dry, you’ll need to expose it to air. Whenever you change your baby’s diaper, be sure to fold the top of the diaper down so that you don’t cover the stump. You’ll want to double and triple check that the stump is not irritated by diapers or harsh fabrics.

Most importantly, you must resist the temptation to pull the stump off. Allow nature to take its course and let it fall off on its own—it’s best for the baby and the healing process. You definitely want to avoid infection. The stump will begin as a yellowish green color, change to brown, then to black throughout the healing process. It usually falls off within the first two weeks of birth.

 
Contact your doctor if you notice the following symptoms: If the stump is…
•    oozing yellowish puss
•    producing a foul-smelling discharge
•    continues to bleed
•    or appears red and swollen around the cord
   

 

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