Umbilical Cord Care

Umbilical cord care is no rocket science, I can assure you, but of course: how should you know if you have never in your life seen an umbilical cord before.

New parents do wonder what to do with this little cord piece that is still attached to their baby. I learned that the average cord end falls of after 10 days. Anything from 3 days to 6 weeks I have experienced in real life.

Umbilical cord care is no rocket science

After birth, the cord, at some stage is clamped and cut. For clamping the cord a plastic clamp is used most often, but other devices are possible too, a little ring for example looking like a rubber band.

The first 1 to 3 days after, the cord is very soft and I want to say squashy, until it starts to dry slowly. Like our hair or nails the cord end has no nerves and we can touch it without worrying that the baby will be in pain. The cord clamp will be taken off once the cord is completely dry. The plastic ring would stay attached as it doesn’t intervene as much. Your midwife will have such a cord clamp remover and I have found most hospitals take it off before you leave for home.

Like our hair or nails the cord end has no nerves

This is how a cord bit can look like without a clamp and after it has dried.The photo was taken on day 6 after birth.

a dried out umbilical cord

 

The cord cleaning now is like with anything else regarding babies and life. There is no right or wrong but many  different ways of dealing with it. Does this cord above shown on the photo look like it needs to be cleaned? Desinfected?

I’d say NO to that.

I personally feel a clean cord piece doesn’t per se need cleaning. I only clean or let the parents clean cord ends that are for an example oozing. Oozing, bleeding is kind of normal at some stage, you could say it is part of the healthy healing progress.

If you feel the need to clean around the cord end, because this is where the oozing -bleeding will take place you can just take a cotton bud, a Q- tip so to speak and use water out of the tab. As our water is drinking water it is clean enough for this purpose. And dap around the cord and underneath the bit that is lying on your baby’s tummy. Who is not happy with the -water only -solution could take some deluded Calendula essence in water for an example.

If you feel the need to clean the cord end, use water.

Once the cord bit starts to smell, yes we can say stink , I mean we are talking about something dead here, I like to use Calendula essence too.You can get the Calendula essence at the pharmacy.

Some hospitals, doctors , midwives recommend alcohol, ethanol. I personally do not feel the need. Alcohol, will dry, yes, but the cord doesnt fall off faster.

Here the cord has nearly come off after a week .

umbilcal cord falling of

 

Happy cord cleaning!

Lots of love & Go leor de ghrá,

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