Childr Health Information

Umbilical cord care

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Topic: Infant Health Care

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about caring for your newborn’s umbilical cord. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to go
over any instructions you do not understand.

WHAT IS THE UMBILICAL CORD SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE?
The umbilical cord is usually a cream to yellow color. Sometimes it is a greenish color. At first the cord feels cool and clammy. After a few days, the cord starts to dry and turn brown to black in color. As it dries, the cord loses the cool and clammy feeling. It may become stiff. Some cords don’t dry so well, and appear “mucky” or soft and  mushy, still kind of yellow in color. This is okay; don’t be alarmed.

WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO FOR THE UMBILICAL CORD?
• Always wash your hands before changing a diaper or handling your baby’s umbilical cord. Germs from your hands could cause an infection.
• To help the cord fall off, try to keep it clean of urine and stool. If the cord becomes soiled with urine or stool, cleanse the area with water and a clean washcloth. You may give your baby tub baths before the cord falls off.
• Lotions, alcohol and other agents are not necessary and may delay the cord’s healing.
• Fold your baby’s diaper down in the front, so that the diaper does not cover the cord. Air will help the cord to dry.
• The umbilical cord usually falls off in one to two weeks after birth. A drop or two of blood are not unusual when the cord falls off.

HOW DO I KNOW IF THE UMBILICAL CORD IS NOT OKAY?
With every diaper change, look at your baby’s umbilical cord. Call your baby’s doctor if any of the following are present:
• The skin around the cord is red.
• The cord smells foul.
• The cord is draining clear fluid or pus.

PDF: Child Health Information - UMBILICAL CORD CARE

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 2004

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 2004

 

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