More country differences: caring for the umbilical stump.

My #1 was born in London, and on discharge from the hospital I was told to bathe the baby regularly and that the stump would fall off pretty soon. That’s it, simple and practical. Then the midwife who came to our home a couple of times checked on it.

#2 was born last week in Milan, and stumps receive much more attention here in Italy. First of all, you should bathe your baby in very shallow water until the stump has fallen off so that it’s not submerged in water (I know other places even suggest sponge baths). On top of that, you should change the medication at least three times a day. It consists of a square sterile gauze, folded in two into a triangle and then rolled like a foulard which should be wrapped around the stump until it looks like a cute tiny white rosebud.

OK, not a big deal you think… but try to do this origami-style operation while the little offspring screams and kicks!

This morning I decided to revert  to the English way. After all, everything went smoothly the first time and #2 is a girl so there’s even less risk of contamination from forgetting to “put the trigger down”!



Comments (2)

December 5, 2007

I like the referral to origami!
In the Netherlands you are supposed to wrap some sort of bandage around baby’s waist and fasten it with a safety pin.
Both my babies were born in London but (even though they told me not to) I still put the bandage around my oldest daughter – better safe than sorry .
The bandage ended up under her armpits so I didn’t bother again.
I wonder how they keep that thing in place here – maybe with my next baby I’ll find out…

December 5, 2007

In the states we are told to NOT touch it with any bandages, ointments or water. Sponge baths only until it falls off. Let me tell you-with all that dribbling milk, it made for one stinky baby after falling off in THREE WEEKS!

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