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Thread: umbilical cord

  1. #1
    New Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    umbilical cord

    How to prevent infection on a new born umbilical cord?

  2. #2

    A newborn baby will have an 'umbilical stump' (the remainder of the umbilical cord) which usually takes around 7-10 days to completely dry out, turn black and drop off. You should keep it clean and dry in order to prevent infections. It is best to have the umbilical stump outside the nappy (i.e. over the top of the nappy) along with the clip that the midwife will have attached to it. This will help it to stay clear of wee and poo which again could cause it to become infected.

    However, most umbilical stumps do not become infected as long as you keep it clean and dry. You should wash your hands before cleaning the belly button. Then 'top and tail' your baby by using clean cotton wool and clean cooled boiled water to clean each part of their body, keeping the 'top' bowl of water (the water for their face) and the 'tail' bowl of water (the water not used on the baby's face) separate.

    Allow the belly button area to air dry, whilst keeping your baby warm, before putting their nappy back on.

    It is normal for the belly button area to ooze a little or even bleed a tiny amount, however, it is becomes swollen or smelly or your baby seems to have a fever then you should contact your midwife or doctor straight away.

    I hope this helps - please do let us know if we can help further.

    Best wishes,


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