What to do to care for the umbilical cord of a newborn
Generally, the umbilical cord falls out after about two weeks after birth.
Until the umbilical cord stump dries and falls, it is very important to keep it clean and dry.
From the moment the doctor or midwife cuts the umbilical cord after delivery, the stump of the umbilical cord remaining in the baby, while it dries and falls, will change from yellowish green to brown and finally to black.
The umbilical cord does not contain nerve fibers sensitive to pain, so your baby does not feel any discomfort, however it is important to treat the area with care:
- Keep the area clean. After each diaper change the child’s umbilical cord should be cleaned with an antiseptic such as 70º alcohol or chlorhexidine, and covered with a small dry sterile gauze.
- Iodine products should never be applied, as these can be toxic to the baby.
- Keep the area dry. Place the front of the baby’s diaper folded down to prevent it from covering the cord.
It is very important that you let the umbilical cord fall on its own, even if it is almost loose, avoid removing it. Once it has fallen, you should continue curing the area until it is completely healed.
Signs of umbilical cord infection
Although it is not frequent, if you notice any of these symptoms contact the doctor because there may be an infection:
- Area that is red and swollen around the umbilical cord
- Bleeding out
- Presence of yellowish pus
- It produces a foul-smelling discharge