All new parents go through anxiety. Unfortunately, taking a newborn home could be quite stressful, especially if it is your first baby. Many parents worry about taking care of the baby’s umbilical cord and the ways to prevent the infection.
Of course, the cord played a vital role in giving all the nutrients required for the growth of your baby, when the little one was inside the womb. But there is no reason to get paranoid if you spot blood or any other infections. Relax and report to the doctor when you find something abnormal while observing your baby’s umbilical cord.
Umbilical Cord Bleeding: Is It Normal?
Right after you deliver the baby, the umbilical cord is cut and an umbilical stump will remain on your baby’s belly button. Ideally, the stump dries out to turn black and proceeds to fall off after five to six days. But in some cases, it can take up to 15 days. This falling of umbilical cord could lead to bleeding. Observe your baby’s cord and ensure to give a proper care if it starts bleeding.
The umbilical stump drops from the belly button naturally or by any unintentional tugging while you carry the baby. A small amount of blood is common and natural. The blood can be noticed first when you change the diaper and note that the bleeding may not start until a week or more right from the day it falls off.
When Should You Worry About Umbilical Cord Bleeding?
1. When You Spot Any Active Bleeding
Active bleeding is likely when the cord falls off before it is even ready – unintentional pulling, tugging or forceful pulling of the cord. The bleeding is continuous and doesn’t stop even after wiping. Try to wrap a gauze around the bleeding area and bandage the material under the diaper, this will compress the active bleeding. If you see bleeding is persistent, call the doctor immediately for assistance.
2. When You See An Infection
The risk of infection is possible when you find any tenderness around the belly button area, foul smelling discharge from the stump, the baby is sluggish or lethargic, yellowish-pus-like discharge, or generally, lack of interest in feeding. If you see any of these symptoms, quick attention is needed.
3. When The Cord Sticks For Too Long
Usually, the umbilical stump dries and falls off eight weeks after birth. If this is not the case and the stump sticks too long than normal, checking with the doctor is ideal.
4. When You See Fluid From Granuloma
The granuloma is a wet, moist, red lump of tissue that forms on your baby’s belly button. Usually when the cord dries and blackens to fall off. If you spot any oozing of fluid which causes the skin red and irritated, call the doctor immediately. An umbilical granuloma looks worse and doesn’t cause pain but it is a minor problem which needs immediate care.
Tips To Care Umbilical Cord Bleeding
If you spot any blood on your baby’s belly button, it is highly recommended to follow some basic hygiene tips. This will stop any infections which might crop up.
1. Always Keep It Dry
Keep the belly button area dry. Do not rub or cover the cord completely. Keeping the area open will help heal faster.
2. Always Keep It Clean
Rubbing the wound with alcohol would lead to infections. Keeping it clean and leaving the blood to dry on its own is recommended. Any unnecessary intervention might increase the irritation. Consult the doctor before using any medicine, creams, antiseptics, or any home care products.
3. Use Sponge Baths
Exposure to water may increase the bleeding. Avoid placing the baby in bathtubs or sink until the stump falls. Giving sponge baths is ideal till the cord dries and separates naturally.
4. Let The Skin Scab Fall Naturally
Although you may like to clean and rub the stump to keep it dry. The tender skin of your baby will feel raw and might lead to fresh bleeding. Don’t use pressure to wash away blood or pus. The scab is the layer underneath the vulnerable skin. Let it heal naturally!