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umbilical cord, care of
I have practiced at a number of hospitals; it seems everybody has their own way of taking care of the umbilical cord. That we have to worry about the thing at all is really a function of the fact that babies wear diapers nowadays. Left to its own devices and allowed to air dry, the cord rapidly withers and separates with very little risk of infection. Diapers allow urine to soak the cord allowing bacterial growth and hence the concern and the various treatments of the cord.
There are various schools of thought:
Of course, any sign of infection around the umbilical stump is bothersome, and you should let your doctor know about it. This would include
Now, those criteria will probably have your calling your doctor a bit more often than truly necessary, but better safe than sorry if you are not experienced with this.
Personnally, my problem has always been just to get parents to even touch the cord, much less fret about what to do when they touch it.
One of those things you don't think about too much until the need arises.