I haven’t given birth to my baby yet, but just thinking about having to wash their umbilical cord after childbirth stresses me! Touching the cord could hurt them, and have never had to care for a baby. I am scared I will be clumsy. Thanks for any advice, Émy

Émy, most first time parents have never taken care of a drying umbilical cord before having their children. You can learn anything, you’ll see. I also want to reassure you about the umbilical cord. The remainder starts out pale because skin surrounds the cord. As it dries out, it will become browner, a bit like a scab. Most of the time it will fall off after a couple of days. When the nurse demonstrates how to bathe your baby in the maternity ward or during postnatal in-home visits, she will show you how to hold it to dry it with a Q-Tip. Most of the time the baby won’t even react. All you need to do is clean it with water every day and frequently dry the surrounding area. If you see a thick greenish or yellow discharge or there is a horrible smell, there may be an infection, and you should consult a health professional to evaluate the situation for proper care. Give yourself time, and you will learn as you go along.


Talk soon,
The Baby Expert