BELLY-BUTTON CARE FOR NEWBORNS
The umbilical cord consists of 3 veins and ensures that all kinds of substances are exchanged between mom and baby through the placenta when he is in mom’s womb. A jelly-like tissue is formed around these veins in order to protect them, thus blood flow continues without any interruption. As the baby is born into a world filled with oxygen and starts breathing, the umbilical cord loses its function and is cut and left to dry. It doesn’t hurt baby when it is being cut or drying out, but the thing that new moms really worry about is belly-button care. One of the common mistakes made in newborn babies is to hide the umbilical cord under the diaper after wrapping gauze over or around it. The umbilical cord should be left open and no pressure should be applied to it that may prevent circulation. If the umbilical cord is hidden under the diaper, the drying process is delayed due to moisture and the risk of infection increases. Specially-designed newborn diapers with umbilical cord notch, which leave the umbilical cord uncovered, speed up drying and reduce the risk of infection. I recommend that moms use diapers with umbilical cord notch designed specially for newborn babies and available in our country. Disinfectant solutions and alcohol-soaked cotton swabs are not used anymore in belly-button care upon the recommendation of the World Health Organization. However, over the long drying-out process of the umbilical cord, which is covered with a thick layer of jelly-like tissue, a smell and discharge may develop. This would be an indication of infection and you should certainly have it checked by your doctor. If you wish to speed up the drying and falling off process of the umbilical cord with its thick jelly-like tissue, you can clean it with alcohol-soaked cotton balls, but only once or twice during the day. Use diapers with a newborn umbilical cord notch and let it come into contact with the air.