Caring for the UMBILICAL CORD of a New Born

Umbilical Cord – Olu’bi (yoruba), Eriri nwa (igbo), Chibi (Hausa)

The umbilical cord of a baby usually falls off 5- 10 days after delivery. However, it needs to be kept clean and dry for proper healing to take place, in order to avoid complications.

The following should be observed especially because of the prevalence of infections in our environment.

  • Clean with methylated spirit and cotton wool as many times as the child breast feeds; not just TWICE a day, or apply 4% chlorhexidine gel once a day till the tube is exhausted.
  • Clean from inside out, that is from the root (the umbilicus) to the stump.
  • Do not apply any traditional medicine over the cord.
  • Do not burn with lantern or hot water.
  • Urine or stool should not touch the cord. If that happens, wash the cord with soap and water or clean with methylated spirit and cotton wool.
  • Check for signs of infection over the umbilicus which include: foul smell , pus discharge, redness and swelling of the skin around the umbilicus, or delay in “falling” of the cord.

If you notice any of the above signs of infection or anything unusual, that is not the time for self- medication. Present to your doctor ASAP!!!

Got questions? Consult DoctorKK right here.

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