The lifeline that sustains your baby for 9 months giving him oxygen and nourishment through the placenta is scrapped at birth by the midwife and cut as close as possible to the baby’s body. This procedure is painless to the baby and leaves an umbilical stump in its wake. Most parents wish it could just disappear but you have to be patient and give this important part of your baby’s life run its natural course.Fact Sheet
Caring For the Umbilical StumpCleaning is the only way to avoid infections as the stump is supposed to remain clean and dry at all times. Clean the cord with soap and water gently as the use of any other chemical based product may slow the process of falling off. After every bath you must always pat the stump dry with the aid of a cloth. While dressing the baby, make sure that the stump is clear of the upper old of the diaper.In some cases, a scraggly tissue is left behind after the fall of the stump. See your paediatrician and remember that it is not a cause for concern. Your baby’s navel area can actually stick out in what is known as umbilical hernia. Usually, this will go away on its own and is not a cause for pain to the baby. But, If it persists after 1 year of age, please consult your paediatrician.Signs of TroubleYou must rush your baby to the paediatrician’s office if the umbilical stump shows tenderness to the touch, discharges a yellowish strong-smelling residue, there is redness around the belly button, and when there is persistent swelling and discharge after the stump has been shed. You must also do the same if your baby has a fever.In a nutshell, keep in mind that it is a natural process and will take time.