The umbilical cord is an amazing thing. For 9 months it is a baby’s lifeline. I guess that is why the cutting of the cord can be so symbolic.
Once the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut it starts to dry up relatively quickly.
Janna’s cord stump fell off on her eighth day of life. For almost a week she had some minimal bleeding as evidenced by the picture above. This can be normal and wasn’t concerning to me because there wasn’t any active bleeding.
Dealing with the umbilical cord stump usually isn’t a big deal and requires minimal care. Here are some things to remember.
Basic Cord Care:
- Keep the cord dry.
- Sponge bathe your baby until after the cord has fallen off. Do not give tub baths until then.
- Make sure the diaper is below the cord. If the diaper covers the cord it can get wet and take longer to fall off.
- Do not pull the cord stump off, even if it is hanging on by a thread.
- It isn’t necessary to use alcohol on the cord. This used to be common practice when I was first having children. However, the cord will fall off at the same rate with or without it.
- The cord will usually fall off within 1-3 weeks after birth. All of my children’s cords have fallen off by the time they were two weeks old, most before that.
Here are some signs that you should contact your child’s health care provider:
- There is a foul odor coming from the cord.
- The skin around the cord is red and swollen.
- The cord hasn’t fallen off by the time baby is 2 months old.
- There is active bleeding. (When a drop of blood is wiped away another drop immediately appears in a 15 minute time period and doesn’t stop.)
One other issue related to the cord that often causes parents to worry is an umbilical hernia. My son Joseph had one. When he would cry his navel would protrude and it felt squishy when I pushed on it.
Umbilical hernias generally do not harm or hurt a baby. Most of the time they heal on their own with no problem. Joseph’s did and you would never know he had one now that he is three.
People used to tape over an umbilical hernia or even put a coin on the navel and then tape over it. However, this doesn’t speed up the healing process and can even hinder it. If you are concerned contact your child’s health care provider.
Disclaimer: I am not a health care provider. I am just a mom of five who likes to share information.