What baby belly look like after the umbilical cord falls off
After birth, it is normal to look at your baby’s belly and wonder when her umbilical cord will fall off. One cannot deny how gross the once vital organ looks after birth. It makes most parents impatient to fall and tempts them to ask what the baby’s belly looks like after the umbilical cord falls off.
Read on to learn more about What a baby belly looks like after the umbilical cord falls off and how to care for her before and after the umbilical cord falls off.
What’s the significance of the umbilical cord?
The umbilical cord is unarguably the most important organ to a baby during the period of gestation. It attaches the baby to the placenta, functioning as an essential transmitter during pregnancy. It passes oxygen, water, and nutrients from mother to child. Also helps dispense wastes from child to mother so that the mother can help dispose of them.
When does the umbilical cord fall off?
After the baby’s birth, it no longer needs the umbilical cord since it can breathe independently and perform other activities the umbilical cord helps with – nutrition and excretion. Hence, the umbilical cord is ready to be clamped off.
As vital as the umbilical cord is, it has no nerves, making it easy for it to be clamped off without worrying about the baby going through pains.
However, a few inches of this cord are left behind to avoid bleeding, and this part is called the stump and is left to dry itself and fall off. A few days after birth, the rest of the umbilical cord develops a new color, changing from yellowish-green to black and then falls off. After this stump falls off, it exposes a little bump that becomes the belly button.
The umbilical cord usually falls off 1 to 3 weeks after birth. The duration differs according to the babies. It may even take as long as 28 days in some babies.
How to take care of the umbilical cord before it falls off
Seeing the yellowish-green stump transform into a gross blackish stump is enough temptation to wriggle it till it falls off. However, the first primary care to give the umbilical cord is to leave it to fall naturally. Pediatricians advise parents and caregivers to leave the umbilical cord to dry up and fall off itself to avoid profuse bleeding and infections.
Because the belly button is such a delicate part of your baby’s body after birth, the stump plays the role of protecting the belly button until it is done healing before falling off.
According to research in 2016, experts concluded that the best way to take care of the umbilical cord is to clean it regularly. Here is a cleaning routine of how to care for the umbilical cord;
- Wipe away every discharge and blood drips using a cotton swab or a moist clean piece of cloth. Do not be alarmed about the slight bleeding; it only means your baby’s belly button is healing.
- To keep the spot dry, dab it with a clean, dry cloth. You don’t have to worry about your baby feeling pains because there are no nerves in the umbilical cord, like our hair and nails.
- When wearing your baby her diaper, ensure to fold down the top so that air may reach the stump. Some diapers have a hole reserved for the cord.
- Dress your baby in outfits that free up the belly area. Dressing her in a tight outfit will restrict the adequate air supply needed to dry up the umbilical cord.
- Keep bathing your baby with a sponge to the cord dry. After the stump falls off, you can give your baby that tub bath she deserves.
What to do after your baby’s umbilical cord falls off
As little as it may seem, having your baby’s umbilical cord stump fall off is a significant milestone in your baby’s growth. The best way to celebrate this milestone is by taking good care of the cute little new belly button.
After the stump falls off, your baby may bleed a little, or you may find some yellowish discharge. Relax. It is nothing to worry about; it is perfectly normal.
All you have to do is clean the discharge or blood with a moist clean piece of cloth and pat the spot dry. It would be best if you bathe your baby with a sponge for a while before letting her in a tub during this period.
How to take care of the belly button after the umbilical cord falls off?
After the stump falls off, it is normal to find some secretions still. The tip of the belly button may also have a reddish look. It is, however, abnormal to have this reddish color spread around the belly. Here are some tips on how to care for the belly button after the umbilical cord falls off.
- Continue using a sponge to wash your baby’s belly button.
- Some experts advise not to start bathing your baby in a tub immediately after the umbilical cord falls off.
- Wipe clean every little secretion.
- Avoid using rubbing alcohol on the area as it can affect the healing process.
- Keep patting the belly button area dry, but carefully this time because, unlike the umbilical cord, the belly button has nerves. More so, hard patting may cause injuries.
- After a week of following this care process, your baby is ready to bathe in a tub, and you don’t have to stress about giving special attention to the belly button during a bath.
Do I have to consult a pediatrician?
The possible occurrence that will need you to call a doctor is an infection of the umbilical stump called omphalitis. Luckily, your baby’s chances of having this infection are very low, as research shows that only 1 of every 200 babies experience the condition.
Nonetheless, it is crucial to adhere to safety procedures to eliminate every chance of contracting omphalitis.
There are some unusual occurrences and symptoms to watch out for when taking care of your baby’s umbilical stump;
- Reddish color spreads from the center of the belly button to the belly.
- Secretion of pus
- Baby fever
- Fresh blood instead of dried blood
- Bump on the umbilical stump
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