Caring for the umbilical cord

A few minutes after the baby is born, the cord is cut. Source of many anxieties, cord care is necessary on a daily basis. Doctissimo tells you all about the hygiene of the umbilical cord.

Summary

  1. The umbilical cord: a link between mom and baby
  2. Cord care
  3. Should we use eosin for cord care?
  4. Cord care: the signs that should alert parents

During pregnancy, the cord ensures exchanges between the mother and the fetus. A few minutes after the baby is born, the cord is cut. Source of many anxieties, cord care is necessary on a daily basis. Doctissimo tells you all about the hygiene of the umbilical cord.

The umbilical cord: a link between mom and baby

The umbilical cord is a gelatinous, rounded, whitish rod that measures between 50 and 60 cm. It is made up of two arteries that remove waste products and a vein that provides the fetus with the food and oxygen it needs to develop.

When the baby is born, the cord is cut, your baby becomes independent. The midwife places a clamp, called an umbilical bar clamp, about 1 cm from the base of the cord in order to collapse the vein and thus, stop the exchanges between the mother and the child.

Cord care

To ensure good healing and avoid infections, cord hygiene is necessary on a daily basis. In general, childcare assistants teach mothers to clean the cord while bathing, which you can continue to do once you get home.

Cord hygiene step by step:

  • Before starting the treatment, remember to wash your hands with soap and water;
  • Bring sterile compresses and Biseptine (always have everything on hand);
  • Soak two Biseptine compresses;
  • Release the base of the cord to pass below the forceps, slide the compress at the base of the cord and clean it by making a full turn, from the center to the periphery (gesture “comma”) to remove dirt;
  • Do not hesitate to repeat the operation by insisting on the folds to avoid infections;
  • Close the layer under the cord so that it scars faster. This will also avoid friction.

Cord care must be performed at least once a day. If your baby’s diaper is dirty and urine or excrement has soiled the diaper, do not hesitate to clean the cord when changing.

CORD CARE IS PAINLESS

Rest assured, cord hygiene is absolutely painless for your infant. Stéphanie Malartre, nursery nurse advises you above all to limit the sources of discomfort which are at the origin of the baby’s crying at the time of the treatment. We avoid undressing baby too much during the change and we install a reassuring cocoon for example by rolling a terry towel around the baby. He will feel maintained and less lost on the changing table.

Should we use eosin for cord care?

Be careful with the use of eosin. Today, in most maternity wards, this product is no longer used. Indeed, eosin has no antiseptic property. It should therefore not be used in place of Biseptine. On the other hand, faced with a cord that is struggling to heal, ask your pharmacist for a drying product that will accelerate the healing of the cord. It is imperative to use eosin after cleaning the bead with an antiseptic.

Cord care: the signs that should alert parents

Certain anomalies should alert parents. Indeed, the cord is a gateway to many infections.

  • The cord is red / inflamed;
  • The cord oozes;
  • The cord is soft;
  • The cord is badly odorous;
  • The cord is bleeding.

These signs, whether or not associated with a fever , should lead you to recall maternity or to contact your general practitioner.

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