In the heading «Ask an expert a question», our reader Diana asks:
«The baby will be a month old in a couple of days, and the navel is still red and does not heal. What to do? How to take care of the navel to heal faster? Maybe it’s time to see a doctor?»
In the first days after birth, it is not necessary to process the navel. The primary treatment after the birth of the child is carried out by a midwife — she applies a sterile clothespin.
Then the main thing is that the umbilical cord residue can breathe. To do this, you can not close it with a diaper. The underwear that you put on the child should be breathable, that is, made of cotton.
The umbilical cord residue in the maternity hospital is monitored by a doctor on the rounds and a nurse. If necessary, they will treat the wound.
Now the children are discharged with the umbilical cord remains that have not fallen off. It should fall off before 15-20 days. Usually this happens on the 10th day. After that, we make sure that the umbilical wound remains dry. Once a day it can be treated with hydrogen peroxide — we drop 2 drops. After she hisses, wipe the navel with a dry cotton swab and leave it alone.
After the umbilical cord residue has disappeared, crusts begin to form. Epithelialization of the umbilical wound can occur until the end of the newborn period — up to 28 days. The most important thing is that the wound is dry.
You can bathe the baby immediately after discharge from the maternity hospital, the day after vaccination against tuberculosis. We bathe the child in ordinary water, it is not necessary to boil it. The child’s skin should get used to the water with which she will live all her life and learn to develop protection.
Is it necessary to bathe a child in potassium permanganate
Potassium permanganate cannot be used. Firstly, it is now sold only by prescription. Secondly, it is very difficult to dissolve it. Undissolved crystals can get on the skin and cause chemical burns.
If you bathe a child in potassium permanganate every day, then by the month the skin will turn yellow-brown. The child will be examined for bilirubins, sent to examine the liver.
In addition, potassium permanganate dries the skin very much, kills those microbes that should live on the skin and protect it. Therefore, do not add any special substances to the water.
If there is a desire and there is no allergy, then once a week you can bathe the child in a decoction of chamomile, a series.
When to consult a doctor
the umbilical wound is wide and does not shrink;
there is always some kind of liquid in the navel;
there is a smell from the umbilical wound;
the umbilical wound is red, there is swelling;
if a child starts to behave restlessly, refuses to eat, he has a fever;
blood began to flow from the navel (this may be the beginning of a late form of hemorrhagic disease).
All this is an urgent reason to call a doctor. All further manipulations with the umbilical wound are done by a doctor. If the wound is wide and does not shrink, it gets wet, and around the edematous tissues, most likely, an infection «omphalitis» has joined — inflammation of the umbilical wound. In this case, urgent medical help is needed. Otherwise, sepsis may develop against the background of infection, which will lead to serious consequences.
Complications may occur in the navel that are not related to inflammation. For example, the growth of the umbilical cord remnant tissue is a fungus. With such a problem, you need to contact a surgeon.
The navel of a newborn in the first days after birth is the entrance gate for infection. Therefore, it is important to know how to properly care for it.
It is not recommended to bathe a newborn until the clamp disappears, otherwise the healing process of the navel will be delayed, and the risk of infection will increase.
The umbilical clamp disappears by itself, it is impossible to tear it off by yourself in any case. If the child gets dirty, gently wipe it with a damp sponge or napkin and blot the navel with clean gauze.
According to modern data, it is enough to keep the umbilical cord residue clean and dry. Additionally, it is not required to treat with any antiseptics.
It is not necessary to smear the navel with green and other coloring solutions, so as not to miss the inflammation. There is also no need to stick plasters.
Normally, the wound heals completely within 2 weeks. The redness will pass by 3-4 weeks of life.
Watch for the following signs of complications: redness of the skin around the navel, discharge from the navel for more than two weeks, an unpleasant smell, an increase in body temperature. If you see that the navel does not heal for a long time, immediately consult a doctor.