Umbilical Cord & Circumcision

Vanessa Rodriguez & Elizabeth Gonzalez

Umbilical Cord

The umbilical cord, which connects the baby to the placenta, contains three vessels: two arteries, which carry blood from the baby to the placenta, and one vein, which carries blood back to the baby. After a baby is born, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut close to the baby's body, leaving an umbilical stump.
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Care for Umbilical Cord

  • Keep the umbilical cord stump clean and dry
  • Fold the baby's diaper away from the stump
  • Give baby sponge baths
  • Loose clothing during warm weather to let air circulate
  • Do not try to pull off the stump, even if it looks like it's going to fall off

*The stump will dry up and fall off in about 7 to 21 days

You can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean the stump, but researchers have found that untreated cords heal faster than alcohol-swabbed cords and carry no more risk of infection
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  • Circumcision is when the foreskin of the penis is surgically removed
  • Most parents make the decision about circumcision based on cultural, religious, or personal reasons,
  • Can be circumcised within 1-2 days of after birth

Health Benefits/Risks

  • Easier hygiene
  • Decreased risk of urinary tract infections
  • Decreased risk of sexually transmitted infections
  • Prevention of penile problems
  • The most common complications are bleeding and infection