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As a new parent, one of the things you will need to know how to take care of is your newborn's umbilical cord stump. The umbilical cord is the lifeline that connects your baby to the placenta while they are in the womb, but once your baby is born, you can use the cord to extract and freeze its stem cells using Anja Health’s kit, and then it has no further use. The remaining piece of the cord, called the stump, will dry up and eventually fall off on its own, usually within one to two weeks after birth.
Here's what you'll need to know about basic umbilical cord care and what to expect in the next few weeks.
While you may be tempted to clean or care for the cord stump, it's important to know that the best way to care for it is to keep the area clean and dry. Avoid using alcohol or other harsh substances to clean the area, as this can cause irritation and delay healing. Instead, simply keep the area clean by gently wiping it with a damp cloth or sponge.
It's also important to note that you should not submerge your baby in water, such as in a bath, until the cord stump has fallen off and the area has healed. This is because the stump is still open and susceptible to infection, so it's important to keep it dry to prevent bacteria from entering the area.
Another important aspect of care for the umbilical cord stump is to keep an eye out for signs of infection. These signs include redness, swelling, and discharge. If you notice any of these signs, it's important to contact your healthcare provider right away. They will likely recommend cleaning the area with mild soap and water and may prescribe an antibiotic ointment or cream to help prevent infection.
It's important to remember that every baby is different, and the timing of when the cord stump will fall off can vary. Some babies may have their cord stump fall off within a few days, while others may take a couple of weeks. It's also important to note that some babies may experience bleeding or a small amount of discharge from the stump as it falls off. This is normal, as long as it is minimal and not accompanied by other signs of infection.