Treatment of the umbilical cord of a newborn: rules and sequence of actions


The umbilical cord firmly connects the baby with the placenta, through which the baby receives nourishment and oxygen from the mother and releases the products of its own vital activity for elimination. After the baby is born, the umbilical cord is cut off, but the spiritual close relationship remains. About how the umbilical cord is processed in the hospital and what to do with the umbilical wound after discharge home, we will tell in this article.


The umbilical cord is very similar to the elastic rubber hose. Its length is more than half a meter and it can withstand severe loads. One side of the umbilical cord is adjacent to the baby’s tummy, and the other to the central part of the placenta.

Inside the umbilical cord are two arteries and one vein. Through the arteries in the direction of the placenta flows blood saturated with carbon dioxide and metabolic products, and through the vein to the baby receives pure blood rich in oxygen, nutrients and minerals.

The umbilical arteries are very sensitive to oxytocin. When its level in the body of a pregnant woman reaches a maximum, and this happens during childbirth, they are narrowed, mobilized. So there is a natural rejection of the umbilical cord at the cellular level, but physically obstetricians, who take birth, cut the umbilical cord. After the baby is born, it begins to breathe with lungs, to feed through the gastrointestinal tract, so there is no longer any need for the umbilical cord.

In the maternity hospital

During childbirth, obstetricians begin to process the baby before its full appearance. As soon as the head is born, mucus is sucked in with a sterile pear, which fills the nose and mouth of the baby. When a boy or girl is born entirely, the doctors continue the birth process, because the mother still has to give birth to the placenta, and the baby has to go through several stages of umbilical cord processing.

Primary processing of the umbilical cord of the newborn should take place quickly - literally 10-15 seconds after the birth of the crumbs of the umbilical cord clamped Kocher clips. One of the clamps is superimposed on the cord in ten centimeters from the baby's navel, from its navel ring. The second clamp is placed a few centimeters from the first towards the placenta.

Kocher Clamp

Between the clips is part of the umbilical cord, which will be cut off. It is treated with alcohol and cut with sterile surgical scissors. Only after this “freed” baby is shown to a newly-made mother, obstetricians speak crumbs of the floor and take him to a special changing table with heating and a sterile diaper. This is where the secondary processing stage starts.

The remains of the umbilical cord should be treated with alcohol, then blot with a dry sterile cloth. The algorithm of actions of the medical staff in this issue is worked out to the smallest detail, everything is done quickly. The treated umbilical cord is wrung out with fingers and in 20-30 mm from the umbilical ring impose a Rogovin brace. About 2 centimeters recede from it and the umbilical cord is cut again, processing the cut with a 5% solution of potassium permanganate.

Previously, the navel was tied with a knot, now the child’s stay with the clothespin (Rogovin's brace) is practiced until it is completely dropped. In the children's department of the maternity hospital, the doctor will examine the condition of the umbilical cord and umbilical ring daily. Baby will be treated navel every day.If the medical staff does not violate sanitary requirements and instructions, the risks of infection of the umbilical wound will be minimal.

If the SOP algorithm (standard operating procedures) was not violated, and the child was born healthy and full-term, the probability of development of the umbilical hernia, there is practically no serious infection or sepsis. Complications begin where the responsible attitude of physicians to their work ends.

Umbilical ring

At home

After discharge from the hospital, the responsibility for treating the umbilical wound falls on the shoulders of young parents. And here a great many questions arise. The local pediatrician can teach the mother how to properly handle the umbilical wound, and in the first 24 hours after discharge, she will definitely visit the child at home. But to have a reminder on the hygienic procedures associated with the navel, parents, it is desirable to have with you constantly.

In fact, there is nothing complicated about processing. Her conduct must be included in the baby’s morning toilet.

If the clothespin did not disappear

Clothespin, from which the baby was discharged, can disappear along with the dried-up remnant of the umbilical cord on the 5th day after birth, and it can only be on the 7-9th day. It's all individually. If everything is in order with the navel, there are no signs of inflammation, it is not necessary to process it until the umbilical cord falls off. If the doctor insists on treatment, take this process responsibly.

While the brace is in place, the navel is treated carefully so as not to disrupt the mummification of the umbilical cord by infecting it. For processing, you will need tweezers, cotton pads, brilliant green and a pipette. Beforehand, mother should wash her hands, treat with any antiseptic (better "Miramistin"). Pipette carefully apply 1-2 drops of green stuff to the place of attachment of the umbilical cord to the umbilical ring.

It should be remembered that the remains of the umbilical cord with a clothespin should always be dry. Try not to cover them with a diaper. If your baby’s feces or urine get on the navel, you should rinse it with running water and dry it well naturally, pre-dried with a clean, ironed cloth.

It is possible and necessary to bathe with the remains of the umbilical cord of the child, it is also spread on the tummy. Only for hygienic procedures it is desirable to use boiled water. Newborn clothes should be sewn of natural fabrics, in the navel should not be gum and pressing fasteners.

When dropped

As soon as the umbilical cord has disappeared, the treatment of the umbilical wound should be mandatory and daily. For some time after falling out of the mummified remnant of the umbilical cord with the child's brace, it should be left in a supine position with the belly open so that the wound will dry slightly.

In the future, it is important to ensure that it does not close the diaper, and clothing was comfortable.

Parents should understand that a small amount of blood in the umbilical wound, as well as the formation of crusts in it, is a normal and natural phenomenon. You should not try to tear off these crusts at any cost. For the treatment of wounds will need:

  • tweezers;
  • pipette:
  • cotton pads;
  • cotton buds;
  • Zelenka (1%);
  • hydrogen peroxide (3%);
  • antiseptic for the treatment of the hands of an adult.

With clean, washed, antiseptic-treated hands without a long manicure, the mother should carefully push the edges of the wound and drip a few drops of hydrogen peroxide inside with a pipette. Make sure that the peroxide is not cold, otherwise the baby will be unpleasant, he will worry and cry during the procedure. The optimal temperature for all medicines for navel treatment is room temperature.

Cotton swabs are carefully removed excess peroxide. After 30-40 seconds, you can start cleaning the wound. A cotton swab dipped in hydrogen peroxide, carefully remove crusts and other wound contents. After this, the wound should be allowed to dry slightly and after a couple of minutes you can begin to instill green stuff. It is pipetted and 1-2 drops are dropped directly onto the wound.

It is necessary to bathe the child after the wound heals. Usually this process is completed by the 20th day of birth, that is, at the age of three weeks, the baby may well swim. Prior to this, from the moment the baby's umbilical cord falls off, the baby is grabbed with wet wipes moistened with warm water in a diaper, avoiding the ingress of water into the unhealed umbilical wound.

Signs of infection

A doctor should be called if the umbilical wound began to fester, if a greenish or yellowish thick liquid with an unpleasant smell is released from the wound, if the space around the navel is inflamed, swollen, reddened and gives the baby an unpleasant sensation when touched.

In this case, after consulting a doctor, additional manipulations associated with the use of antibiotics are prescribed - locally in the form of ointments or systemically, if the inflammation is severe.

You will learn more about the rules for processing the umbilical cord in a newborn from the following video.

Information provided for reference purposes. Do not self-medicate. At the first symptoms of the disease, consult a doctor.