Umbilical cord is a flexible cord made of blood vessels and tissues, attaching a fetus to the mother’s placenta. It is the passage way of the blood that contains oxygen and the nutrients to the baby’s navel area from the placenta. It also carries the deoxygenated blood and waste from the baby’s body to the placenta during pregnancy.
Right after birth, the umbilical cord will be cut on the baby’s navel. It will then be clamped. You might get worried and think that cutting the cord would hurt your little one, but NO, umbelical cord doesn’t have any nerves in it and cutting it won’t cause your baby any pain.
What happens to umbilical cord after it is cut off and when will the umbilical stump heal or fall off?
• After cutting, the umbilical stump in your baby’s tummy is clamped. Your task is to keep the navel area dry and clean.
• The stump would look like a shiny white or grey cord. The skin around the navel would sometimes be raw pink, but that’s nothing to worry about. Sometimes, the stump might release a little bit of liquid or sticky substances too.
• Use a cotton ball in cleaning the stump. Soak the cotton to a luke warm clean water, squeeze to release excess water. Wipe the area around the navel and use the wet cotton to remove or clean the discharges from the stump. Wipe dry with clean soft cloth after. Do that everyday to avoid infection and dirt to get in to it.
• After about 2-3 weeks after birth, the umbilical stump will eventually heal and dry out. It will change its color to brown, grey or sometimes black. If you have kept the area clean and dry, the healing process will become faster and eventually, the umbilical stump will then fall off.
When to get worried and what to look out for?
It is normal to have little blood in the baby’s navel after the umbilical stump fall off. However, keep an eye and contact your doctor if you could see that the area becomes redish and swollen, or if there is oozing pus, as these are signs of infection.
Umbilical stump are not that hard to deal with especially if you will just follow the rules to keep it clean and dry. Eventually, it will just fall off by itself with nothing to worry about.