During the period of Pregnancy, umbilical cord supplies, oxygen and nutrients to your developing baby. After birth, umbilical cord is no longer required therefore it is clamped and snipped leaving behind a short stump.
Baby Umbilical cord stump from bluish white to black then it dries and eventually falls off (between 2-3 weeks) after birth. Till then treat the area gently.
- Cleaning of Stump: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended cleaning base of stump with alcohol but researchers have found that untreated cords heal faster than Alcohol swabbed cords.
- Keeping Stump Dry: Make sure the stump is dry whenever you give your baby sponge bath. This will promote faster healing.
- Expose the stump to air for drying out the base: Always keep the front of your baby’s diaper folded down to avoid covering of stump.
- Prefer sponge bath: Till your baby’s stump has not fallen off, prefer sponge bath. Once the stump has fallen you can go for tub bath.
- Allow stump fall on its own: It will take around 2-3 weeks and the best is allowing it happen naturally but refrain from pulling the stump yourself. Soon stump will get darker in color and eventually fall off.
Signs of infection includes if the cord
- Oozes white or yellowish pus
- Base appears to be swollen or red
- Produce foul smell discharge
- Seems painful to your baby
- Keeps bleeding
In such conditions meet your pediatrician as it can be a symptom of "Umbilical granulomas".
In many cases lumps appear near the stump but there is no need to worry about it, it will disappear with time but in case the flesh within the stump looks sore and unhealed ask your midwife, GP or nurse as they will suggest the stump should be sealed or not.
The Process of Sealing is known as cauterisation. It is a very simple and common procedure in which nurse uses a little silver nitrate stick and this is not going to hurt your baby at all.
- Wash your hands before handling the cord stumps and avoid touching it whenever possible.
- Don’t use soap, antiseptic, cream, alcohol to clean it.
- Make sure the stump dries properly after every sponge bath. (Stump dries or heal much faster when exposed to air)
- Don’t cover the stump with nappy.
- If ‘wee’ or ‘poo’ gets on stump, wash it off using clean water.
- If you notice any lump near the belly button, it might be “Umbilical hernia”. There is no need to worry as it is not dangerous but you should to meet your pediatrician.