CORD CARE

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The umbilical cord will be blue-black from Triple-Dye (a topical antibiotic / antifungal) when your baby leaves the hospital and may be wet at the base. The cord will usually fall off in about 7 to 21 days. You should clean the cord and the area with rubbing alcohol 4 times daily plus whenever it is soiled or there is a foul smelling discharge. Clean the cord well using a cotton ball soaked with rubbing alcohol until the area is well healed. There will continue to be a discharge a few days after the cord falls off. You may even want to use a Q-tip soaked with alcohol to get into the creases. Remember to pull the skin off of the cord and clean the green mucousy stuff under the cord because this is where an infection can start. This will not hurt your baby as the cord has no nerve endings, but your baby may cry from the cooling effect of the alcohol and because you are bothering him or her. Also, you should not bathe your child until the cord has fallen off, but rather, you should give him or her sponge baths. Fold the diaper down or use the new diapers with the cord cut-out to keep moisture off of the cord. If the cord does get moist, clean it with rubbing alcohol to dry it out. Should you note any persistent or bloody discharge, swelling or redness, then please call me at the office. A small amount of bleeding is normal when the cord falls off, but should not be persistent. Once the cord falls off, the discharge may continue for up to 2 weeks. If the discharge continues for more than 2 weeks after the cord falls off, then please call the office.