Care of Umbilical Cord

Care of Umbilical Cord

Care of umbilical cord

What is umbilical cord:-

The umbilical cord connects a baby to its mother in the womb. Its attached to your baby’s stomach to placenta in the womb. The average cord length is 50 cm long.

Basically umbilical cord carries oxygen and nutrients from the placenta into your baby’s blood stream.

It’s made up of 1 vein that carries blood rich in oxygen and nutrients from mother to baby, and 2 arteries that return deoxygenated blood and waste products like carbon dioxide from baby to back in the placenta.

These blood vessels are protected by jelly like substance which is called wharton’s jelly and it’s covered by amnion membrane.

At the end of your pregnancy, the placenta passes antibodies through the umbilical cord from mother to your baby. These antibodies give immunity to your baby for about 3 months after delivery.

After Delivery:-

After the baby is born, doctor or midwife will cut the umbilical cord about 2-3 cm from your baby’s belly button and clamp it with umbilical clamp (plastic clip). The color of umbilical cord changes from yellowish-green at birth to black as it dries and then falls off spontaneously , generally 1 to 4 weeks after birth.

Care tips:-

  1. If the cord looks dirty or sticky, wipe it gently with a wet and clean cloth and then with dry cloth.
  2. Help the base dry out by regularly exposing it to air.
  3. Do not bathe your baby in a tub or sink until umbilical cord has fallen off. Give him a sponge bath and make sure to dry the area immediately after bathe . Do not rub it, this could cause irritation.
  4. Do not tempt to help the cord to fall off. It is best to allow this happen naturally.


When to call doctor:-

Check the cord regularly and if you notice any of following , please contact your doctor-

  • Blood at the end of the cord
  • A white or yellow discharge
  • Swelling or redness around the cord
  • Any sign of pain if you touches the area of cord ( for example baby cries when you touch the area).