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Cord Care (Belly Button)

Shortly after birth, the midwife will clamp the umbilical cord close to your baby’s belly button (navel) with a plastic clip. They then cut the cord, leaving a small bit of it with the clamp attached.

The stump of the cord will drop off between 7-10 days following the birth. It usually does not require any special attention, other than normal careful washing and drying at bath time. Keep the baby’s navel clean and dry until this happens (Avoid bathing your baby until it drops off)

It is very common for the stump to bleed slightly as it separates and your midwife will advise you how to care for this. Usually all that is required is to ensure the nappy does not rub on the area. If there is any heavy bleeding, discharge, redness, or bad smell around the cord stump you should contact your midwife or health visitor. If you are breastfeeding you may also need treatment as thrush can affect the breast causing pain.

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