After the birth of your newborn, the umbilical cord is secured and cut close to the baby’s body in a painless procedure, leaving an umbilical stump attached to your baby’s navel.
The stump will take around 7 to 21 days to dry up and drop off; leaving a small wound that may take a few days to heal. Keep the umbilical cord stump clean and dry and only give your newborn a sponge bath until the umbilical cord has fallen off. Dress your newborn in loose fitted clothes to let the air circulate to speed up the drying time. Every time you change your baby’s nappy clean any moist debris from the base of the cord, nearest the bellybutton, using a cotton ear bud.
Signs of infection may include if the cord:
- Base appears red or swollen
- Continues to bleed
- Oozes yellowish or white pus
- Produces a foul smelling discharge
- Seems painful to your baby