Cord; A slender flexible anatomical structure (as a nerve) that connects the fetus to the mother.
During pregnancy it supplies nutrients and oxygen to your developing baby. After birth, the umbilical cord is no longer needed, so it is clamped and snipped and this leaves behind a short stump.
The newborns umbilical cord stump typically falls off withtin about 1 to 3weeks after birth.
Keep the stump Clean; Parents are adviced to keep stump clean and avoid covering with dirty clothing or touching with dirty hands to avoid infection of the stump.
Keep the stump dry; Expose the stump to air to help dry out the base. Keep front of your baby’s diaper folded down to avoid covering the stump, hence affecting healing and falling off.
Stick with sponge baths; Sponge baths makes it easier to keep the stump dry.
P/S; There’s really no harm in getting the stump wet.
Let the stump fall off on its own; Resist the temptation to pull off the stump yourself as this might cause pain or hemorrhage (bleeding) to the child
Keep the stump clamped (air tight); To prevent air and other foreign bodies from passing through into the abdomen
During the healing process, it is typical to see a little blood near the stump. Much like a scab, the cord stump might bleed a little when it falls off.
However, contact your baby’s health care provider (pediatrician) if the umbilical area oozes pus, the surrounding skin becomes red and swollen, or the area develops a pink moist bump. These could be signs of an umbilical cord infection.
Prompt treatment is needed to stop the infection from spreading.
Also, talk to your baby’s health care provider (pediatrician) if the stump still hasn’t separated after 3 weeks. This might be a sign of an underlying problem, such as an infection or immune system disorder.
Cord care is very important in the newborn as the babies system immune system is very fragile so sources of infections should be reduced to the bearest minimum.
Also the newborn has about 500mls of blood, hence hemorrhage(bleeding) or blood loss can alter the hemodynamic state of the newborn.
Care should be taken as the cord is a very vital organ and the newborn period is also very vital so once any abnormalty is observed, a pediatrician should be contacted as soon as possible.
Dr Allison Ondimiekumo Rollins jnr