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The newborn comes home with an unhealed belly button. For many parents, the umbilical cord stump is a big problem. You needn't worry, because proper hygiene and care of the navel is really simple.

The stump is a remnant of theumbilical cordvein that connects the fetus to the mother's placenta. Through it, food and oxygen are delivered to the developing fetus in the mother's belly, and metabolic products are removed. After birth, the umbilical cord is no longer needed, so it is cut off a few centimeters from the baby's skin and a stump remains on the baby's abdomen. It used to be tied with a knot, today a special plastic clasp is attached to it, which is removed by a doctor after two days.The umbilical cord stumpgradually dries up and hardens, turning from bluish to gray, then black, and finally falls off by itself. This process usually takes 10 to 14 days, although in some cases the stump may only come off after three weeks.

A clean navel will be he althy

All this time, the area around the navel must be carefully looked after to prevent infection from getting into the healing wound. Experts recommend doing this several times a day: in the morning, during the day after each nappy change, and in the evening after taking a bath. How long? As long as the stump goes dry and for three days after it comes off. Before you start hygiene procedures, be sure to wash your hands. To clean the navel, use sterile cotton swabs soaked in 70% spirit. You can buy ready-made moist gauze pads in pharmacies, but you can also prepare the care kit yourself.


When to see a doctor?

The umbilical cord stump and the skin around it should be carefully inspected during each bath and diaper change. A few drops of blood is fine, but more bleeding, a purulent discharge, or a bad smell is a sign that it is not healing properly and you may have contracted an infection. Also disturbing are: swelling, redness and much warmer skin around the navel. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your pediatrician with your baby. He will likely prescribe a topical antibiotic cream or powder. An infection that is diagnosed quickly is easily treated and is not dangerous for the baby.

Navel care kit

You will need sterilized disposable swabs andfood spirit, which must be diluted with water in a ratio of 2: 1. The navel must be thoroughly washed. First, clean the umbilical cord residue with a damp gauze pad, then gently pry the stump up and wash the skin underneath it - cotton buds are the best for this. Finally, gently rub the skin around the navel. Then dry the stump with a dry gauze pad. Do not put any cream or ointment on it, or cover it with powder, without a clear recommendation from the midwife. Also, do not use gentian - it is not recommended, because by dyeing the stump purple (and the navel all around), it does not allow you to assess the condition of the navel: whether it heals well and whether nothing is oozing from it.

Don't do that

Under no circumstances tear off the umbilical cord stump, even if it does not fall off itself for a long time - it may cause infection!

The navel should not be pressed or rubbed

When bathing, try not to wet the belly button, although if a few drops of water drip on it, nothing bad will happen. It is important to dry the navel and disinfect it with alcohol afterwards. Comfort is just as important as care. The umbilical cord stump should not pinch or rub. Therefore, when putting a diaper on your baby, fold the top of the diaper outward or cut a large hole in it for the navel. This will prevent abrasions, and the constant access of air will make the stump dry and fall off faster. Do not cover the navel with a bandage or stick with a plaster, as this can lead to infection.

CHECK>>>How to properly care for the umbilical cord stump?

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