Why is the umblical cord important ?

Why is the umblical cord important. Dr. M.C. Patel (Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Ahmedabad) explains that before a child is born, their oxygen and nutrition are supplied through the placenta in the umbilical cord. However, soon as the baby comes out, they have to take their first breath on their own. If they have strong lungs and the right weight, this is not a problem. However due to complications if the breath does not start within three minutes, then the vital organs of the body such as the brain, kidney, and liver which require timely oxygen feel deprived. Adding to this, Dr. Prof. Narendra Malhotra Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and IVF expert, Rainbow IVF, Agra & New Delhi) explains that delaying the clamping and cutting until the extra blood and the baby settles down, can help the placenta detach properly.

As for the shedding of the umbilical cord, Dr. Prakash Vaidya (Paediatrician, Fortis Hospital, Mumbai) states it usually takes between 7-15 days unless the humidity is higher. When it takes longer, there are chances of infection which can be prevented by:-

  • Washing your hands regularly
  • Ensuring that the cord remains dry
  • Cleaning the cord with spirit
  • Not covering the baby’s belly with a cloth
  • Not applying oil in that area

On some occasions, most of the umbilical cord might shed leaving behind a stump called an umbilical polyp. To dry the umbilical polyp: take a spoonful of water and add a lot of table salt to it so much so that the salt does not dissolve. Once this is prepared, using a pointed dropper keep adding it to the spot drop-by-drop two to three times a day to dry the umbilical polyp and prevent infections.



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