Umbilical cord ligation: all you need to know

Umbilical cord ligation: all you need to know

Umbilical cord plays a vital role in the development of the baby in the womb. It ensures both the transport of nutrients from the placenta to the fetus and the elimination of toxic metabolism products. The entire umbilical cord is the one that helps the baby breathe during birth, until his lungs are first filled with air.

Delayed cutting of the umbilical cord, 2-3 minutes after birth, decreases the risk of neonatal jaundice and prevents iron deficiency.

The anatomy of the umbilical cord

Umbilical cord it forms in the 5th week after conception, replacing the vitelline sac as a source of nutrients for the fetus. It is not directly linked to the mother's circulatory system, but to the placenta, thus reducing the risk of transmitting viral infections from mother to baby.

Umbilical cord it is composed of two arteries and a vein, protected by a gelatinous substance. The arteries transport oxygen-free blood and nutrients from the baby to the placenta, while the umbilical vein supplies the baby's body with oxygenated blood.

By the end of pregnancy, the length of the umbilical cord can reach up to 60 centimeters.

Cutting the umbilical cord

Once in the world, the baby begins to breathe alone and no longer needs it umbilical cord. Therefore, the nurse or midwife will grab the cord with a clip and cut it. The procedure is not painful for the baby, because the umbilical cord is free of nerves

The medical staff will place the newborn on a sterile and warm diaper, wipe their skin and aspirate the secretions from the mouth and nose with a sterile probe. After the cessation of the umbilical cord pulsation, it is thought out and sectioned using a special clamp. Binding (binding) of the cord it is performed with a surgical attachment or a sterile clamp, at a distance of about 3 cm from the baby's belly.

The rest of the cord, known as umbilical cord, will be wiped with iodized alcohol, to prevent infections, and bandaged. The sterile dressing is kept for 24 hours, after which it can be removed to allow a quick and natural healing of the navel

The World Health Organization recommends umbilical cord cutting 1-3 minutes after birth, to allow the iron-rich blood from the placenta to pass through the cord into the baby's body. Recent studies in the field have shown that amputation of the cord immediately after birth increases the risk of jaundice, while late ligation prevents iron deficiency.

Care of the umbilical cord

After about 10 days after birth, the umbilical cord dries and falls, leaving behind a small wound, which will heal soon. However, the area remains extremely sensitive, so you must be careful when washing or changing the diaper.

It is very important to keep your beak clean and dry. Fold the baby's diaper under the belly so that the bump is exposed to the air and does not come into contact with the urine. To clean the skin, wipe the baby with a clean towel soaked in warm water. You can take his first general bath after the fall of the navel.

In some cases, instead of the stump, a small, red area of ​​scar tissue is formed, known as umbilical granuloma, which usually heals itself. At the same time, you can see a few drops of blood on the diaper. It's a normal thing. Ask the pediatrician for advice if you are concerned about the appearance of the baby's navel.

Some pediatricians recommend that moms apply alcohol soaked tablets once or twice daily on the umbilical cord. However, this practice is invalidated by the most recent studies, which show that healing takes place faster if the navel is exposed to air.

There are situations where an infection of the cord fragment may occur. Call immediately at 112, if:

- observe blood stains larger than 5 cm in the umbilical area;

- you applied pressure to the belly twice, for 10 minutes, but the bleeding did not stop;

- red stripes appear on the navel;

- the skin around the navel has reddened, and the redness tends to extend further on the abdomen;

- the rectal temperature of the newborn exceeds 38 degrees.

Tags Umbilical cord Cutting umbilical cord birth Umbilical cord role