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Baby umbilical cord care

A few minutes after the baby is born, the cord is cut. Source of many anxieties, the care of the umbilical cord is necessary on a daily basis.

What is the umbilical cord?

The umbilical cord is what allows baby to be nourished and oxygenated during pregnancy. Made up of blood vessels, it connects the fetus to the placenta of its mother.

The umbilical cord is a gelatinous, rounded and whitish rod that measures between 50 and 60 cm. It is composed of two arteries that eliminate waste and a vein that brings the fetus the food and oxygen it needs to develop. When the baby is born, the cord is cut, your baby becomes autonomous. The midwife places a clamp, called the umbilical Bar clamp, about 1 cm from the base of the cord in order to collapse the vein and thus stop the exchanges between the mother and the child. The umbilical cord is held by a clamp, a special clamp, which will be removed on the 2nd or 3rd day of the baby's life.

There will still be a small piece of the cord, which will dry out and turn black in a few days, then will eventually fall off to leave a nice belly button for your little one.

The fall of the cord takes between 3 and 15 days. It takes the same amount of time, or even longer, for the navel to dry out and heal.

Umbilical cord hygiene

When you get home, it is important that the cord stay clean and dry to prevent infections. Indeed, because of the blood vessels present in the cord, the latter is an entry point for bacteria.

For many years, it has been recommended to moisten the umbilical cord daily with 70% alcohol. However, this practice has been abandoned. It is now recommended to use water only. We particularly recommend:

  1. To wash your hands well before performing cord care;
  2. To clean the base of the cord every day with a cotton swab soaked in lukewarm water;
  3. To go all the way around the cord with the cotton swab to clean any debris;
  4. To dry all surfaces well using a dry cotton swab.

It Sometimes there is a small discharge slightly tinged with blood during the first few days. The important thing is to thoroughly clean the base of the cord.

You can give your baby a bath, even if the cord has not yet fallen off. The important thing is to dry it well afterwards.

Umbilical cord care is painless

Rest assured, cord hygiene is absolutely painless for your infant.
We advise you above all to limit the sources of discomfort that are at the origin of the baby's crying
during the treatment. We avoid undressing baby too much during the change and we install a safe cocoon
for example by rolling a towel around the baby. He will feel supported and less lost on the changing table.

Umbilical cord care: signs that should alert parents

Some anomalies should alert parents. Indeed, the cord is a gateway to many infections.

  • The cord is red/inflamed;
  • The cord is oozing;
  • The cord is very soft;
  • The cord has a bad smell;
  • The cord is bleeding.

These signs, associated or not to a fever, should lead you to call back the maternity ward or contact your doctor general practitioner.

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