As soon as it is born, the baby loses the only organic contact it had with its mother: the umbilical cord. After delivery, the cord loses its usefulness, because the baby will begin to feed in a different way, through the mouth, and it must be cut. The umbilical cord must be cut about 4 centimeters from the baby's abdomen, and to do this the gynecologist or midwife will hold it between two hemostats, which contain the hemorrhage. The leftover piece of cord fastened with special plastic clips or clips.
From this moment on, the baby's navel will undergo a process of self-destruction without infection, which will culminate in the detachment of the rest of the cord.The umbilical cord takes eight to ten days to detach and somewhat more in children born by cesarean section (12 to 15). Once detached, a wound will remain, which will heal in the following days with due care.
The remaining wound will heal in three to five days after the fall. During this time, the ideal is to cure the navel with 70% alcohol and with chlorhexidine, which is a transparent liquid that acts as a disinfectant and prevents infection.
As long as it does not fall, the navel must be dry, protected and covered, to avoid any type of infection, and so that it falls as soon as possible. Before, it was advisable to bathe the newborn in parts, to prevent the navel from getting wet when the cord had not yet fallen off.
Instead, currently, it is recommended to bathe the baby with soap and water, and dry it very well to prevent bacteria from proliferating. Therefore, while the wound is not healed, it is advisable not to stop bathing the baby or to do it in parts, but to dry the cord well. The most important thing is that it is clean and dry, hence the importance of performing the cord cure daily or whenever it has become soiled with feces or urine.
Every time you have to change your baby's diaper, you will need to do a navel cure. For this reason, you should have the following materials on hand with your changing table:
- Sterile gauze box
- Elastic mesh bandages or girdles (net)
- 70% alcohol or chlorhexidine
1. Wash your hands well
Hands should be washed well with soap and water, and the gauze that surrounds the piece of cord should be removed. If it's stuck, don't pull on it. Before, moisten it with a little antiseptic solution to easily loosen it.
2. Wet a sterile gauze with antiseptic
A sterile gauze should be moistened with an antiseptic and the wound and surrounding skin should be gently touched. As antiseptics you can use 70% alcohol or chlorhexidine, a clear antiseptic.
They are recommended for their lack of color compared to mercurochrome (red) or iodine, since they facilitate the assessment of the wound, since if it reddens it may indicate that it has been infected. Also, povidin iodine or iodine is not recommended because the baby can absorb it through the skin and suffer from thyroid problems.
3. Dry the area very well
The navel area should be dried very well and check that it is well dry with another gauze. Excessive moisture and poor care can lead to infection and a delay in the healing process.
4. Take another gauze soaked in alcohol
The next step is to use another alcohol soaked gauze and wrap it around the cord. When you put the diaper on, hold the dressing with it, but do not press on the abdomen. You can also leave the umbilical cord clamp outside of the diaper to air it out.
5. Repeat the process four times a day
Perform this cure three to four times a day, taking advantage of diaper changes or whenever it has become dirty because the umbilical cord wound must always be clean and dry.
- When you see that it bleeds
Small bleeds (a few drops) are normal and appear when the cord is detached. When bleeding is abundant, it may be due to trauma, poor ligation or coagulation disorders.
- When the skin of the navel has a bad smell
If, apart from the bad smell, the navel area seems red, the base of the cord oozes or the baby has a fever, you should take the baby to the pediatrician. It could be an infection.
- When the cord has not fallen in three weeks
The pediatrician must assess whether it is an infection, a maceration due to humidity or some immunological alteration.
- When you notice a soft lump in the navel
It may be due to an umbilical hernia, which the pediatrician must assess to see if he needs to operate. If they are small, they usually correct themselves.
- When you see a pink and wet lump
Once the cord has detached and you see a pink, wet lump, it may be a granuloma. The pediatrician must prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
You can read more articles similar to Navel of the baby. Care and hygiene, in the category of umbilical cord on site.