Sunday, April 30, 2023

Umbilical cord care.. Take care to clean it and protect it from infections

keep the umbilical cord stump clean and dry:

The first few weeks after your baby is born, you will need to keep the umbilical cord stump clean and dry as it dries up and eventually falls off on its own.

It is not necessary to use alcohol on the cord; just keep it clean. In the meantime, a quick immersion bath is fine before the cord falls off, just dry the stump afterwards. Also, keep the diaper folded under the cord to prevent urine from soaking through it.

You may notice a few drops of blood on the diaper around the time the stump falls off; this is normal. But if the cord bleeds a lot, call your baby's doctor right away. If the stump becomes infected, it will require medical treatment.​

Umbilical cord infections:

Although umbilical cord infections are rare, if you notice any of the following, you should contact your doctor:
  • Foul-smelling yellow discharge from the cord.
  • Red skin around the base of the cord.
  • ​Cries when touching cord or surrounding skin​.

The umbilical cord stump should dry up and fall off by the time your baby is three weeks old. If it remains for a longer time, a doctor's consultation is needed.

umbilical granuloma:

Sometimes, instead of completely drying up, the cord forms a granuloma, or a small red mass of scar tissue that remains in the belly button after the umbilical cord has fallen off. This granuloma will drain a clear yellowish fluid. This condition usually goes away in about a week, but if it doesn't, your pediatrician may need to burn (cauterize) the granulomatous tissue.

umbilical hernia:

If your baby's umbilical cord area seems to push out when he cries, he may have an umbilical hernia, a small hole in the muscular part of the abdominal wall that allows the tissue to bulge when there is increased abdominal pressure. (for example, when crying). This is not a serious condition and usually clears up on its own in the first twelve to eighteen months. (For unknown reasons, African-American babies often take longer to heal.)

In the unlikely event that it does not heal by three to five years of age, the hole may need surgery. Do not put tape or a coin on the belly button. It will not help the hernia and may cause a skin rash.