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It is a flexible cord like structure which connects the baby in the womb to its mother. The umbilical cord runs from an opening in the baby’s stomach to that of the placenta in the womb. The average length of the cord happens to be about 50cm (20 inches).
Babies growing in the womb get nourishment and oxygen via placenta attached to the inner uterus wall of the mothers. Umbilical cord is what helps this placenta stay connected to the baby and provide it with the needed nutrients to grow. The cord vessels consist of:
As the pregnancy nears its end, the placenta passes antibodies from your body via this umbilical cord to the baby. These antibodies provide the immunity against infections for nearly three months post the birth.
As soon as the baby is born, whether naturally or by means of an operation, the following action is taken; either by the midwife or the hospital staff:
As the cord has no nerves, cutting causes no pain to the baby. In between 5 to 15 days post the birth, this stump dries out, turns black and falls off on its own. Once the stump comes off, the belly button gets healed in around 7-10 days.
Until and unless the umbilical stump drops off, and baby's belly button is fully healed, it’s very important to keep that area clean and dry so as to avert any sort of infection. Here check out some important tips for taking care of the stump:
As the stump drops off, you might get to notice a little amount of blood on the diaper, which is nothing to fear of.
Though occurrence of infections is very rare, but it would always be goof to consult the doctor if: