For a pregnant woman, her womb is everything. It is the place where her little baby will grow and develop until it’s time to give birth to it. So, who thinks about her navel or belly button? Well, no one, until after the birth because it is the belly button that forms a link between mother and newborn. However, after the birth, this link is no longer required, so it’s time to cut it off.
However, as a new mom, you should take proper care of this area and ensure you do everything to avoid infection.
What is the umbilical cord? During the seventh week of pregnancy, the umbilical cord develops. It supplies the fetus with nutrients and oxygen and for getting rid of body waste. As the ninth month of pregnancy approaches, the umbilical cord carries antibodies from the mother to the baby and helps the infant fight infection till age three months. Mothers pass on the antibodies in their bloodstream to their baby. After birth, the cord isn’t necessary as the baby can feed, breathe and empty his bowels without such help, therefore requiring its clamping.
Tips to take care of the umbilical cord: The clamped umbilical stump is usually an ugly sight, so you might not want to look closely at it. But you need to do all you can to ensure that it heals well and normally. So, do all you can to keep your baby’s umbilical cord stump and its surrounding skin clean and dry. After a few days, the stump will shrivel and fall off, thereby preventing any infection.
Here are six ways of taking care of your baby’s umbilical cord:
1. Keep it clean: Is the stump dirty or sticky? Dab it with a wet cloth or clean it with plain water and pat dry with clean cloth to keep it dry and moisture-free. Remember not to use soap or alcohol, as this can irritate the skin.
2. Keep it dry: Keep the stump exposed to air so that the stump dries out at the base. The diaper should not fall over the stump. In the summer, dress the baby in a way that the cord area receives sufficient air.
3. Have a sponge bath: Don’t place the stump under running water until it falls off naturally. During this period, it’s good to have a sponge bath. When the stump shrivels, you can give your baby a bath in a tub.
4. Change your baby’s diapers carefully: If you dress your baby in diapers, which have a notch in the diaper area, fold it down at the navel so that it doesn’t fall over the stump. If he dirties or wets his diapers, change him immediately so that they do not turn wet at the navel.
5. Dress him in loose-fitting clothes: Dress him in loose clothing that have a special cut at the stump. If he has freedom in the stump area rather than being dressed up to avoid air circulation, it would help.
6. Allow it to fall off naturally: Don’t pull the stump out of place as this will cause bleeding but let it fall off naturally.
Follow these tips given above very carefully and watch your baby’s umbilical cord dry out and fall off naturally within just a few weeks.