Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Navel care for newborns to prevent infection

Caring for a newborn's belly button:

Caring for a newborn's navel is a source of concern for some parents, especially if they do not have much experience in this area. You do not need to worry because some basic treatments are enough to remove the remains from the umbilical cord and heal the navel.

When the baby is in the womb, it is nourished through the umbilical cord. At birth, this cord is severed because it no longer performs any function. A newborn's navel is what remains of the umbilical cord until it is completely separated from it.

In addition, navel care for a newborn is primarily aimed at preventing infection. It is enough to have proper hygiene and take some simple precautions so that this does not happen. With the right measures, in two or three weeks, the rest will be done naturally.

Baby's navel:

At the time of delivery, the doctor or midwife will cut the umbilical cord about 4 centimeters from the baby's abdomen. This is done using stabilizing forceps to contain the bleeding. The rest of the wire is held in place with special plastic clips.

From then on, the newborn's navel begins the process of self-destruction. Over the days, the stump dries up, wrinkles and turns brown until it finally wears off. All this happens within 8-10 days. In babies born by caesarean section, it may take a few days longer.

After the stem falls off, a small sore remains that takes about 3 to 5 days to heal. During this time, special care must be taken to ensure that no infection or complications develop. From there, you don't have to worry anymore.

Navel care for newborns:

Newborn navel care is completed when the area has healed well. There are myths, beliefs and half-truths about it. In the past, it was thought that it was best to treat the navel with 70-degree alcohol, alone or with an antiseptic such as chlorhexidine.

Various studies have shown that it can delay navel dropping. It is therefore only recommended if the child lives in an environment where hygiene is poor. Otherwise, the only cardinal rule is to keep your belly button clean and dry. It includes some basic procedures such as:
  • Wash hands before washing or changing a child.
  • Do not tear the navel, it will fall off naturally when the time is right.
  • Bathing the baby is not a problem. On the other hand, make sure you dry your navel well when you go outside.
  • If the navel area is soiled with urine or feces, it should be cleaned with a washcloth and lukewarm water.
  • The navel area should remain exposed: it should be avoided, as far as possible, from being covered by a piece of clothing or a diaper.

Caring for the navel of the newborn:
It is advisable to treat the navel of the newborn until it is completely healed. On the one hand, it is a simple procedure after taking a shower. You just need to follow these steps:
  • After bathing, completely dry the baby's body.
  • Clean the area around the navel properly.
  • Then apply a clean gauze to dry the area well.
  • Do not use cotton, mercurychrome, or iodine-containing products.

Warning signs:

If there is no cure after 20 days, there may be an infection (this is called omphalitis). In this condition, the area is usually red and hardened. In addition, there will be bloody discharge and an unpleasant odor. If so, see your pediatrician.

When the stem falls off, it is normal for it to bleed a little. If the bleeding is profuse or won't stop, the best thing to do is apply gentle pressure to the area with sterile gauze and then see a doctor. Sometimes a red pimple appears on the navel scar (umbilical granuloma). This is fine, but it is also worth seeing a pediatrician.

In addition, a bulge can also appear on the navel, which corresponds to a hernia. It is mild and usually disappears after 2-3 years. Finally, there may also be a small protuberance shaped like an elephant's trunk, called the proboscis. The pediatrician will then tell you all the steps to follow.