Umbilical Cord Care
By the time the baby goes home from the hospital, the cord is beginning to dry and wither. The clamp can be removed when the cord is completely dry. The cord falls off by itself in about two to three weeks. Because the umbilical cord may be a place for infection to enter the baby's body, it is important to care for it properly.
How to take care of your baby's umbilical cord:Your baby's physician will give you instructions on how to care for your baby's umbilical cord, which include keeping it dry and exposed to the air.
Keep the cord on the outside of the baby's diaper. Some newborn-size diapers have special cut-outs for the cord area, but you can also fold down the top edge of the diaper. Call your baby's physician if there is:
- Bleeding from the end of the cord or the area near the skin.
- Pus (a yellow or white discharge).
- Swelling or redness around the navel.
- Signs that the navel area is painful to your baby.
Some babies may have a weakness in the abdominal muscles called an umbilical hernia. This can be checked by your baby's physician to see if treatment is necessary.
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