The umbilical cord is the lifeline between mother and child before birth, carrying oxygen and nutrients to the little one. Because of its very direct link to your child, even after the connection is severed, special care should be taken to keep your child safe from infection. To become better informed regarding this and other issues regarding your newborn, get in contact with Dr. Heena Thakkar and Dr. Shilpa Pankaj of Peekaboo Pediatrics in Houston, TX.
Signs of Infection
After the doctor cuts the umbilical cord they clamp the remaining bit to stop the bleeding. This part that remains is what's commonly called the umbilical stump.
It will usually fall on its own in a few weeks, but there is a possibility that it can become infected during this time.
Signs to look out for is a bad smell in the area, pus, or signs of inflammation. Reach out to your child's doctor as soon as possible, especially if the baby develops a fever or is in another way visibly distressed.
Some blood is normal as the umbilical stump fully heals, and you can help prevent infection by following a few tips.
Newborn Care in Houston, TX
It's important to keep the area dry as much as possible. So never fold your baby's diaper over it, nor should it be dressed in gauze, and give them only sponge or towel baths until their navel has fully healed.
Always wash your hands before you touch the umbilical stump area, and don't try to pull it off, even if it seems like it's ready to come out.
What's most important during these few weeks is to allow the area to air dry and don't allow a moist, bacteria welcoming environment to develop.
Your pediatrician is your best resource during this time, and going forward. So if you have questions, schedule an appointment today with Dr. Thakkar and Dr. Pankaj of Peekaboo Pediatrics in Houston, TX, by dialing (713) 861-4800.