Umbilical cord care in the newborn

Wednesday 16,
Umbilical cord care in the newborn

The umbilical cord is the tube/channel that join baby with mother. It measures about 50 cm and it is composed of a vein and two arteries that go from the fetus’ navel to the placenta. The umbilical cord is responsible for the substances’ exchange between the mother and the fetus and it is necessary to cut it after birth. It is required the umbilical cord care in the newborn to keep it clean and prevent infections.      

The Spanish Association of Pediatrics recommends to follow the next umbilical cord care in the newborn to prevent infections:

  1. To clean your hands before and after of touching the cord.

  2. To keep the area clean and dry. It is convenient to clean it with water and soap or to use an antiseptic and after to dry it with gauzes, two or three times a day.

  3. To change frequently the nappy to the newborn and be careful that it doesn’t touch the cord. To avoid it you can fold the top of the nappy.   

umbilical cord care in the newborn

You can follow also other umbilical cord care in the newborn such us don’t use girdles or tight clothes. As well as you shouldn’t stretch it. It has to fall off in a natural way between 5 and 15 days after the birth.  

The Spanish Association of Pediatrics of Primary Care indicate us that you can bathe the baby although the cord hasn’t fallen off. After the bathe the most important is to clean and dry very well the area.   

Umbilical cord problems in the newborn

It is recommend to go to the pediatrician when you observe the next symptoms in the newborn:

  • The area’s navel is red, inflamed or smells bad.

  • Constant fluid secretion is observed.

  • The cord bleeds in excess.

  • The cord doesn’t fall off 15 days after the birth.

  • After the cord fall off you observe a red and swollen area.  

As Dr. Sergio Negre, pediatrician in the Quiron Hospital of Valencia, says, the most important to prevent infections is to keep clean and dry the navel’s area. You can let it to dry with the air or use a gauze that you will throw away after the use. You don’t have to cover the navel.  

What do you have to do after the umbilical cord falls off in the newborn?

After the umbilical cord falls off it will remain a soft base, white or yellowish. It is recommend to continuous with the same umbilical cord care, clean it with water and soap or with antiseptic until the are will be totally dried and closed. It is possible a little bleeding after the cord fall off due to the anticoagulant effect of the jelly that forms it.  

When the umbilical cord falls off you have to observe if there is a red and swollen area, known as umbilical granuloma. In this case you have to go to the pediatrician to take care of it with silver nitrate and to prevent infections.  

In Liip we want to help you to solve all of your possible doubts about your babies, in this way you will be relax and you will enjoy with them.

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