Three or four times a day, you will need to clean the area with warm water. Soap is not necessary. If you were given a peri-bottle at the hospital this is an excellent way to apply the water. Try to avoid getting the umbilical stump wet while cleaning.
At each diaper change, you will want to apply a small amount of petroleum jelly. Make sure that the petroleum jelly is pure, without perfumes or other additives. If your doctor sent you home with an antibiotic ointment you will want to use this as directed.
It takes about ten days for the scab over an incision to fall off, and about the same amount of time or a little longer for the plastibell to fall off. Be sure not to pull on the plastibell as it can cause soreness and bleeding. After the scab or plastibell falls off, no further care is needed outside of normal good hygeine. If the plastibell does not fall off after two weeks, contact your health care provider.
You will also want to call your health care provider if you notice any of the following:
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