It will take between five and fifteen days so that the navel dries, heals and falls off. During this time it is vital to clean your baby’s cord every day. A procedure that does not cause him no pain, rest assured ! Discover in detail all the gestures that will allow good healing, then the final fall of the cord.
What is the umbilical cord used for?
When the baby is born, it is often the dad (or the medical team!) Who, by this symbolic gesture that everyone knows, cuts the umbilical cord. But do you really know what this cord is for?
The umbilical cord”connects the organism (mainly the circulatory system) of the fetus with that of the mother. This is done through the placenta “, explains Francophone Digital University of Health and Sport Sciences (Source 1). It contains “a kind of gelatin (Wharton’s jelly) in which bathes the umbilical vein which carries oxygenated blood and the two umbilical arteries”. Conclusion: he allows all the vital exchanges necessary between the child and the mother, and therefore ensures the proper development of the embryo, then the fetus!
When to cut the umbilical cord?
We usually wait four to five minutes after childbirth before cutting the cord, which linked the mother to her baby for nine months.
The cord is then cut to a centimeter from the navel by the midwife or the doctor. You can check for the presence of two arteries and a vein. Finally, a small sterile forceps called “Bar’s clamp”, which promotes healing and navel formation.
In the meantime, the cord will require specific daily care until he falls. Do not be afraid,your baby is not in pain.
What products to use to clean the umbilical cord?
Before proceeding with the treatment, wash your hands thoroughly. This is important to avoid any risk of transmission of infection.
Place near the changing table the necessary equipment for cord care :
- From sterile compresses ;
- A antiseptic lotion : Biseptin, aqueous chlorhexidine …;
- Single doses of physiological serum and D’eosin ;
- A gauze or one net.
Recommendations for frequency of newborn care
On the first and second day after birth, you need to clean the umbilical cord at each change. It is usually the second day that the clamp is removed, if the cord is dry.
Then, the treatment will be done“one in two changes until the cord falls off “, indicates the website of the Maternity and Gynecology of the Robert Debré Hospital in Paris (Source 2). It’s necessary “then continue to disinfect the umbilicus morning and evening until complete healing (clean cord without any secretion) “.
Tip: you can use bath timeto gently clean baby’s umbilical cord.
How to take care of the umbilical cord for good healing?
Here are the steps to take care of your baby’s umbilical cord:
- Remove baby’s diaper ;
- Soak the sterile compress with the antiseptic product. Avoid putting the bottle and the compress in contact;
- Then “fold back the 4 corners of the compress to form a parachute and clean the cord by passing the compress from the top to the base“, adds the website (Source 2);
- “Then change the compress and do the same on the other side of the cord “until the cord is clean,
- Finish the treatment by passing a new one dry compress.
Oozing navel: is it normal?
We will tell you at the maternity ward, but it is possible that the umbilicus oozes a little the first days. Check that there is no swelling, redness, otherwise talk to your doctor.
In the first few months, it is possible that small crust forms at the bottom of the navel : this is normal, but it can make cleaning more complicated.
Fall of the umbilical cord: how to make it fall?
After properly caring for the cord, there is different schools depending on the maternity wards, which will allow the umbilical cord to fall more or less quickly:
- Either you let the scar air dry. Do not cover it with the diaper. This efficient method will allow a total and rapid healing in about five days ;
- Either you hold the compress with a net or by placing the diaper on top. It then takes eight to ten days for the cord to fall off.
However, experts tend to advise to let the umbilical cord air dry quietly.
When the cord has fallen off, you can continue cleaning the navel with lukewarm boiled water or physiological saline. He may well dry up until complete healing.
How do you know if the umbilical cord is infected?
Sometimes it happens that the child’s cord heals poorly, whether it is torn off, or an infection occurs, with very specific signs such as bleeding or swelling. You must know how to recognize them:
- The skin around the cord or navel is swollen, She is Red ;
- You noticebleedingthat do not stop for several minutes after cleaning ;
- You notice a yellowish, smelly discharge ;
- Cord did not fall after a month of life ;
- The cord was ripped off by accident.
If these signs are present, see a doctor.
Bleeding umbilical cord: what to do?
If you notice a little bleeding when the cord has not yet fallen, there is no need to panic at first. Indeed, it is a sign that the blood vessels are separating. This bleeding is normal, as long as it does not last. If they continue after exerting a little pressure on the bleeding for several minutes, contact your doctor.
If the bleeding occurs after the cord has fallen, with over the presence of a little red bump oozingis that the cord heals poorly. Tell your doctor, he may prescribe a silver nitrate drying product with which to clean the cord.
Why does the umbilical cord smell bad?
Baby’s navel is a cavity that can harbor dead skin, bacteria … Thanks to regular cleaning, if there is a bad smell, it should be gone. If after cleaning the cord continues to smell bad, and in addition you notice a yellowish odorous discharge, consult your doctor promptly.