Caring for the newborn's navel: important information for you


Caring for the newborn's navel: important information for you

The belly button is what remains of the umbilical cord after birth, and the navel of the newborn must be taken care of in particular. In this article, we will try to give you the most important information about that.

Caring for the newborn's navel: important information for you

This article will provide you with some information about the care of the newborn's navel:

The navel of the newborn after birth

During pregnancy, the umbilical cord provides the fetus with nourishment and oxygen, and after birth, there is no need for the umbilical cord to be cut. This leaves behind a usually short stump.

After the birth of the newborn, the umbilical cord is cut. The specialist doctor or midwife places a plastic clip or a plastic tie on the remaining stump of the umbilical cord. The clamp is removed after a day or two when the umbilical stump dries and closes.  But, how is the navel of the newborn taken care of?

newborn navel care

It is worth mentioning that what is left of the cut of the umbilical cord or the so-called umbilical cord stump of the newborn eventually falls off, usually within the period of one to three weeks after birth.

In the meantime, the health care team should instruct the parents to treat this area gently. The care includes the following:

1. Keep the trunk dry.

Previously, parents were instructed to wipe the stump with alcohol once after every diaper change.

But in some of the research that's been done, wiping with alcohol may kill bacteria that can help the cord dry out, and that also helps the umbilical cord stump fall off.

Instead, parents should expose the trunk to the air to help dry the base of the trunk.

2. Prevent exposure to irritation

Keep the front of the baby's diaper folded down to avoid covering the torso, and allowing the torso to be exposed to air.

You can also choose to use disposable diapers with a defined or cut-out incision in the waistband.

3. Check for signs of infection

If you notice signs of infection, such as redness of the skin around the trunk, or yellow secretions from the trunk itself, the parents should inform the specialist doctor or nurse immediately.

4. Always wash your hands

Make a habit of always washing your hands before and after caring for your baby, as this can help reduce the risk of infection of the stump.

5. Stick to sponge baths for the newborn

Although there's no harm in getting the stump wet, foam baths can make it easier to keep the stump dry.

6. Let the stem fall by itself

The stem should not be pressed or pulled, the best advice is to avoid touching the stem at all unless absolutely necessary.

It will fall off on its own when it is ready to do so, in other words when the skin underneath has recovered.

7. Monitoring the occurrence of bleeding

You probably don't need to worry about a few drops of blood when the stump falls off, if you notice any more bleeding from your newborn's belly button you should tell your doctor or nurse straight away.

Umbilical cord stump fall

During the first few days after birth the stump will darken and wither, and eventually will fall off, sometimes it takes a week or two if the stump has not fallen after more than two weeks.

As the stump dries and immediately after it has fallen off, you may notice some pus around your newborn's belly button. This pus may be clear, sticky, or brown in color, and may leave a mark on your newborn's clothes or diaper. It may have a distinct smell, and this is a normal part of the healing process.