In placental mammals, the umbilical cord also called the navel string, birth cord or funiculus umbilicalis transports nutrients from mother to baby throughout the time of pregnancy.That is to say that babies in the womb receive nourishment and oxygen through the placenta, which is attached to the inner wall of the mother’s uterus. The placenta is connected to the baby by the umbilical cord, which attaches to the baby through an opening in the baby’s abdomen.

The umbilical cord is expected to dry and fall of within 7 to 14 days. My baby’s Umblical cord fell off on the early morning of the 5th day. It all depends on the little care and attention to give to it to prevent irritation and infection. Here in Nigeria some women used close up tooth paste. according to them it helps to heal the stump quickly. I have not tried it but it will be wise you use what is in the best practice for the health of your baby to avoid complications in the long run.

How do you care for baby umbliical cord
People tend to give less attention in caring for their babies umbilical cord and as such use all manners of substances on the cord which is not advisable. Here in Nigeria some women used close-up tooth paste. According to them it helps to heal the stump quickly. I have not tried it but it will be wise you use what is in the best practice for the health of your baby to avoid complications in the long run.Below is how i cared for my baby umbilical cord

Keep the stump dry.
Parents were once instructed to swab the cord with rubbing alcohol after every diaper change. Researchers now say this might kill bacteria that can help the cord dry and separate. Instead, expose the stump to air to help dry out the base. Keep the front of your baby’s diaper folded down to avoid covering the cord.

Use Sponge Baths
Do not bathe your baby in a sink or special tub until after the umbilical cord has fallen off. If your baby does take a bath, make sure to wipe gently the area to dry it completely. You do not want to rub it dry as this could cause irritation.

Avoid dressing your baby in bodysuit-style undershirts, this will prevent the cord from getting air directly.

Let the stump fall off on its own.
Resist the temptation to pull off the stump yourself. Never attempt to pull off the stump, even if it seems to be hanging by a thread.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) used to recommend cleaning the base of the stump daily with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. But researchers have found that untreated cords heal faster than alcohol-swabbed cords and carry no more risk of infection, so the AAP changed its recommendation.

There are some recommended creams sold in hospitals or pharmacies that can help in healing the stump fast without any irritation. you can ask your Pediatrician for advice.

Signs of umbilical cord stump infection
During the healing process, it’s normal to see a little blood near the stump. Much like a scab, the cord stump might bleed a little when it falls off. Infections are rare, but consult your baby’s doctor if:

  • Base appears red or swollen
  • Continues to bleed
  • Oozes yellowish or white pus
  • Produces a foul smelling discharge
  • Seems painful to your baby

Prompt treatment is needed to stop the infection from spreading. The infection can result in omphalitis (a life-threatening infection of the umbilical cord).

Also, talk to your baby’s doctor if the stump still hasn’t separated after three weeks. This might be a sign of an underlying problem, such an infection or immune system disorder.

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