Umbilical Cord Care Made Easy

The umbilical cord of an unborn baby is an amazing way for baby to receive everything necessary for development and growth from the mother's body. However, after birth it has served its purpose and the stump will fall off, leaving a cute little belly button in its place. Here are some basic tips to help it heal quickly.

The Basics:

- Before cutting the cord it is clamped. This clamp will normally be left on for 2 to 3 days, and usually be removed before you are discharged from hospital.

- All you need to care for the stump is a small bottle of surgical spirits and cotton wool

- Everytime you change your baby's nappy you simply put a little spirits on the cotton wool and wipe the cord stump, taking care to remove any loose bits of scab

- As long as you go about it gently you don't have to worry about it hurting your baby. The stump doesn't have any feeling left and is not sensitive.

- If you do spot signs of an infection, like redness and/or swelling, make sure you bring it under the attention of your medical practitioner immediately.

- The stump will dry out and shrivel up, and will most probably fall off after about 10 to 14 days.

Clueless Mom's Tips:

- Make sure you dry the umbilical cord stump properly after every bath, and wipe it with surgical spirits.

- Some people recommend that you skip the surgical spirits and only keep the area clean by washing with soap and water, and drying afterwards. I have not tried this but it is considered to also be a safe option. Whichever way you choose, be sure to keep the area clean (especially after a messy nappy) and dry.

- The cord stump will change colour in the process of drying out so don't be freaked out by that :)

- Don't tamper with the stump or pull on it if it looks like it's close to falling off. Rather wait for it to fall off all by itself.

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