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Health Tip: Caring for a Newborn's Umbilical Cord

Help prevent infection

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

(HealthDay News) - Once a newborn's umbilical cord is cut just after birth, the remaining piece needs proper care to prevent infection.

The American Pregnancy Association offers these suggestions:

  • Keep the area around the cord clean. Ask your doctor what is recommended -- perhaps cleaning regularly with rubbing alcohol, or just water and a gentle cleanser.
  • Make sure the cord area stays dry. Use a newborn diaper with an area cut out to expose the cord. Also, let your baby wear a short t-shirt and a diaper when possible to help air get to the area.
  • Don't give your baby a full, submerged bath -- just a sponge bath -- until after the cord has fallen off.
  • Never pick or pull at the remaining cord, but let it fall off on its own.


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