Umbilical Cord Care for Newborns | 5 Easy Steps

newborn umbilical cord care | Jax, FL Baby Nurse

Umbilical Cord Care for Newborns | 5 Easy Steps

Writing an informative piece on umbilical cord care is right up my alley! When I’m not helping parents with all the things after their babies are born I’m teaching classes that include information on optimal umbilical cord clamping and providing placenta encapsulation services. During that time I often get to talk with parents about the anatomy of the placenta and cord and the functions of the umbilical cord during pregnancy. After birth, the umbilical cord is no longer needed as the placenta will no longer supply nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to the newborn. The umbilical cord is clamped and cut leaving behind a small nub of cord still attached to your baby’s abdomen.

Clamped and cut, now what?

Your baby’s umbilical cord should begin to dry out, turn into a stump, and eventually, it falls off. What kind of time frame are we talking about here? Usually, within one to two weeks after your baby is born the stump that once was the cord falls off. Until then, follow the 5 simple steps below unless otherwise directed by your pediatrician.

Umbilical Cord Care in 5 Easy Steps:

1. Only give a sponge baths IF a bath is needed.

Generally speaking, newborns don’t need to bathe. A simple wipe down with warm, clean water and a cloth is sufficient. Pay close attention to areas that are moist and tucked away like the creases of their necks and their legs near their diaper area. Avoid their umbilical cord area. The idea is to keep it dry and sponge bathing your newborn will help with that!

2. Keep the stump dry.

You may hear all sorts recommendations such as putting breastmilk on it or applying Goldenseal and Echinacea powder to the area. Please consult your care provider before putting anything on the umbilical cord as it heals. Dry care is currently said to be the best care! There is research that suggests by putting anything on the cord you may be killing beneficial bacteria that is present naturally to help the cord heal on its own. What if my baby pees or soils the umbilical cord area? Don’t stress it! Just wipe it clean using a cloth and warm water (no soap), and let it dry out!

3. Let the umbilical cord air out!

Keep the umbilical area exposed to the air in a controlled temperature environment as much as possible. Fold down the newborn’s diaper, don’t allow it to touch or rub on the cord! Won’t my baby get cold with his umbilical cord area exposed? As long as you have him dressed for his environment he should be fine. For example, if your home is kept around 76 degrees Fahrenheit and you’re wearing shorts and a tank, your baby will be fine in a shirt, diaper, socks, and loose blanket over her lower half. Better yet, snuggle up!

4. Leave it alone!

Let the stump fall off on its own. No pulling or picking at it! If there’s some dried blood around the cord itself (that’s normal) on the skin, you can leave it or wipe it off with a cloth and warm water (no soap), being careful not to get the cord wet. Can I do something so my baby will have an “innie/outtie”? Nope! There’s nothing you can do to encourage or ensure your baby will have an “innie” or an “outtie” a belly button is a belly button! If it’s meant to be it’ll be!

5. Report any problems or concerns to your pediatrician.

Similarly to a scab, the stump might bleed a little when it’s falling off, that’s normal. However, you’ll want to contact your baby’s doctor if: The umbilical cord area oozes or has visible puss. The skin surrounding the cord gets red and swollen. If there’s an odor or smell coming from the area. If your baby’s umbilical cord hasn’t fallen off by the end of week two, even without signs of infection.

Together we can keep dem’ babies safe!

There isn’t a general consensus for umbilical cord care everywhere. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that, “dry cord care without the application of topical substances is preferable under most circumstances in high-resource countries and for in-hospital births elsewhere; the application of topical chlorhexidine is recommended for infants born outside the hospital setting in communities with high neonatal mortality rates.20 ” Basically, they’re saying that that dry care is usually the best care in low-risk environments. In settings where the risk of bacterial infection is high, it may be prudent to use an antiseptic as per your pediatrician or general practitioner’s recommendations.

Here’s the recap:

  1. keep it dry
  2. sponge bathe only as needed
  3. let it air out
  4. leave it alone
  5. report possible problems or infections to your pediatrician right away!

That’s it, folks!

Sounds simple enough, right? For the most part, it is! Follow these recommendations, that of your pediatrician, and most importantly listen to your gut! Not familiar with that? Our postpartum and infant care specialists are amazing at helping you tap into that parental power! Book a consult with us today and grow more confident in parenting each day!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

~Elizabeth Luke

Your Newborn Baby; 5 Things You’ll Want Know

Your Newborn Baby Jax FL

Your Newborn Baby; 5 Things You’ll Want to Know

As the delivery day approaches you’ll have all kinds of feels. The idea of your newborn baby in your arms can be overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. As a New Family Support Specialist, I want to help enhance your experience. So today I’m sharing with you 5 things you’ll want to know about your newborn baby.

1. Your newborn baby will cry.

I’m sure that comes as no shock, after all, babies cry, it’s sort of their thing. The feeling you get when you hear the sound of your baby’s cry can catch you off guard though. I mean, you know babies cry, so why all the emotions? Damn hormones! Hormones and instincts are to blame. We are wired to respond and be attentive to our newborns most of the time. Your newborn baby has very few ways to communicate with you, crying is the most recognizable one and gets the most attention quickly.

Babies cry for a number of reasons; hunger, discomfort or pain, startling, and sometimes they just cry. Yes, for no known reason. Write this one down folks! No, in fact just print this blog, frame it, and hang it in the nursery as a reminder! It will be ok. You try “all the things”, and at the end of the day, you remind yourself that you did the best you could and that is enough. As your baby grows you will begin to learn what cry means what. For some, it’s an intuitive feeling, but for most, it’s a learned art, it takes time, and that’s ok.

2. Your newborn may have a mini period and swollen breasts.

Maternal hormones from the mother’s body are responsible for these happenings. Again I say, damn hormones! In the first couple of weeks of life, your newborn baby girl may shed a tiny amount of blood from her uterus into her vagina, and make its way to her diaper. This is normal and perfectly healthy. We’re talking a very small amount.

Your newborn boy or girl may have swollen breasts. Yep, boys can have boobies too! For a limited time only, usually lasting around six weeks of age your baby’s breast tissue can appear raised, swollen, or full.

3. Your newborn will have mucus, and may sneeze frequently.

Your newborn spent his entire life surrounded by amniotic fluid. Stepping, sucking, practicing acrobatics, and he was taking practice breaths of fluid. At birth, most of that fluid is cleared via a good squeeze as he passes through the birth canal and is suctioned away by the provider. In a cesarean birth, babies are suctioned more thoroughly because they need a little more help clearing that fluid. Some of that fluid still remains in your newborn no matter how they were born.

Your newborn will pass that mucous over the next couple of weeks and will need your help being suctioned occasionally. Hearing your newborn with mucous in his mouth and throat can be a little unsettling, but have no fear, it’s normal and will pass with time. Sneezing is one way your baby clears his respiratory passages. Using a bulb syringe or similar product like the Nose-Frida you will help remove what they cannot clear themselves. As long as the fluid is clear or milky-like and not yellow or green there is no reason to be alarmed.

In the Confident Birth and Baby class, we cover birth, but we also cover what to expect in the first two weeks after birth. The classes are comprehensive and customized to your unique needs.

4. Your baby’s eyes may look crossed from time to time.

You could stare into her eyes forever! Don’t be surprised if one day while staring back your newborn’s eyes are crossed. In the first few months of life, it’s very common. The eyes are surrounded by muscles. The majority of the time when the eyes have crossed some muscles may be a little weaker than others and just need more time to gain strength.

Your pediatrician will examine your baby’s eyes at each visit to make certain that everything is developing properly. If there is a reason for concern you will be referred to a children’s eye specialist where further testing may be done.  If you are concerned or notice it happening more often absolutely mention it to your pediatrician.

Sometimes a baby’s eyes may appear to be crossed but actually are not. This illusion is called pseudo strabismus and usually happens when a baby has a wide nasal bridge.

5. Your newborn will signal you when hungry.

You won’t hear the ringing of a little bell or get a, “Yo mom, when’s dinner?” No, no, you have a least a decade before that occurs, but your newborn will signal you when he or she wants to be fed. We all recognize crying as a sign of distress or hunger, but crying is actually a late indicator of hunger.

Catch your baby’s cues early and you can make feeding time a more enjoyable experience for all. If you wait until the late signs of hunger are displayed it may be necessary to calm your newborn before feeding her.

Early signs of hunger in your newborn include:

  • licking or smacking lips
  • opening and closing mouth
  • sucking on anything (lips, tongue, finger, hand)

Active signs of hunger in your newborn include:

  • the rooting reflex or turning their mouth towards your chest
  • crankiness displayed as breathing faster
  • squirming around, increased movement or stirring

Late signs of hunger in your newborn include:

  • crying
  • moving head from side to side
  • frantically moving around

Follow us on Facebook for more great informational blogs about pregnancy, birth, healing, your newborn, relationships, and parenting! In these early weeks of your newborn’s life, it’s tough, really tough, but there are ways to feel more supported and transition more smoothly. Contact us today to learn more!

Baby Feeding Cues Visual

Bringing Home Your Second Baby | 5 Tips

Bringing Home Your Second Baby 5 Tips, Jax, Florida5 Tips for Bringing Home Your Second Baby

What’s there to know about bringing home your second baby?

You have done this before.

You are already a parent!


Because you have previous experience you may be a little less nervous about caring for a newborn or the thought of bringing your tiny human home to a busy toddler can be frightening.

First, let me tell you, you can do definitely do this. You may flounder around to find your routine in the beginning, but after some time, you will begin to adapt. Take a deep breath and remember these 5 things to help you transition into your new role as a parent of not one, but two.

It will appear that your first ‘baby’ is now actually a giant

Your first child, even if they are still a tiny 1 or 2-year-old, will look huge when bringing home your second baby. Everything about them will seem big! Their hands, only a few days seemed so small when you held on to them, now engulf those of their sibling’s. Their voice, their scent and their development now seem so far advanced as you are brought back to the quiet whimpers of your newborn. As someone who is a postpartum recovery and newborn care specialist, I have heard clients say many times, “no one ever told me they would look so big.” This alone can be a lot to take in.

What worked for one baby may not work for the next

Feeding and sleeping! Getting to know your firstborn’s likes and dislikes when it comes to the essentials is a great accomplishment. You had mastered your first’s routine in only a few months, this second time around is sure to be quicker! If that were the case, how would they keep life interesting? The behavior and personality of one may not be like the second. During times like these, clients have expressed some doubt before discovering the reason one part of their desired routine is not working. Adjustments will need to be made, but you are capable and you will figure out your new normal.

Know your limits

We give and give and give ourselves to little people who turn around and ask for more with one cue or another. While they are incredibly scrumptious, they can be…and are, equally taxing at times. When we are responsible for the lives of our future, knowing what we can and cannot handle is crucial. That will look different for every family. Do you need organization in your house? Hiring that out maybe what works for you. Does 2 hours a day to yourself help you recharge? Are you a better mother to your children as a working mom? It’s different for every family and it is more than okay to choose to live in a way others may not.

Find your person

Talk to a trusted friend regularly, about anything. Allow their encouraging words to sink in and gratefully welcome their help.  When you receive a compliment only say the words, “thank you”. This sounds silly, but it’s important. Don’t brush it off. Don’t couple your ‘thank you’ with a phrase that waters down the compliment you just received. We don’t always receive words that build us up. Postpartum doulas trained to support families with zero agenda are perfect for this role as well. He or she can be your best friend with professional expertise.

Lower your expectations

Hear me on this. Some of the thoughts we have seemed so bizarre that we are sure to be the only ones to think them. When bringing home your second baby will you love her like the first? No, you’ll love her for her and equally as much as the first. How can the second one be cute compared to the first? What if she doesn’t fit in with the rest of us? You are not the only mother to have these thoughts before laying eyes on your new babe and you won’t be the last. Envisioning your bundle to fit right into your family as if you have always known him is a refreshing expectation that can easily be upheld. Expecting the bliss of watching your toddler kiss his little brother in complete adoration to last throughout their childhood years? Well, that’s an expectation to consider holding loosely.

When caring for a child and baby feels like a juggling act you are sure to drop. Come back to these 5 tips, call your doula and remember to take it one day (or even one hour) at a time.

bringing home baby #2, best placenta encapsulation in jax

Author: Whitney Teel, Wilmington Coastal Doulas

Whitney is the owner of Wilmington Coastal Doulas! She holds down the day-to-day operations and with a compassionate heart and a listening ear she supports couples as they find their confidence and identify with themselves as self-assured parents! Whitney provides mentorship to doulas who are trained through ProDoula and are working with WC Doulas.

When she’s not slaying the day-to-day office stuff, building relationships and bridges with people in the community, and supporting her clients you’ll likely find her enjoying time with her own family and close friends! If you’re in the Wilmington, NC area and planning to welcome a baby soon you owe it to yourself to check out all that Wilmington Coastal Doulas has to offer!

Your First Dump After Birth

Taking Your First Dump After Birth jacksonville postpartum

Your First Dump After Birth

Hold onto your mesh postpartum panties, “Your First Dump After Birth” isn’t going where you think it is!  The majority of women who’ve given birth have some reservations about the possibility of tearing open their vagina or cesarean incision with that first post-birth bowel movement. That’s another blog for another day!

Today we’ll focus on the hormonal changes that happen after giving birth; the hormonal dump!

Just as hormones change from pre-pregnancy to pregnancy so too do the hormones from pregnancy into the postpartum period. Birth brings with it a multitude of feelings. Some of which are the highest of all highs and other’s are the lowest of all lows.

Taking your first dump after birth is no joke!

It’s pretty common for those closest to the mom to recognize her hormones are shifting. This can also be recognizable to the birth mother herself, either directly or indirectly.  From tears out of nowhere to partial or complete numbness, there’s a wide range of feelings. I’ve even heard moms say things like, I don’t know what I feel, but it’s strange.

There’s no way to be 100% sure that any person will or will not experience some type of postpartum mood issues.

However, there is some evidence that shows there’s an increased risk for developing postpartum troubles for those who’ve had depression, OCD, anxiety, or any type of mood disorders before becoming pregnant or after the birth of a previous baby. The real kicker is that those who have never experienced any issues can still experience trouble after giving birth.

There’s one thing for sure, even the happiest postpartum presents with its own challenges. Women can experience at minimum weepy moments and baby blues. At worst women experience postpartum depression, PTSD, postpartum anxiety, postpartum psychosis, and postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Ask anyone whose ever experienced hormonal imbalances or trouble after birth, and they’ll tell you, it’s intense stuff!

First Coast Doulas knows that mothers can experience feelings of bliss, joy, mood swings, anxiety, irritability, trouble sleeping, and sadness. Moms can be laughing one minute and crying the next. They may also feel overwhelmed or experience loss of appetite, have a hard time bonding with their baby, feel guilty or inadequate. They can have irrational fears and visions as well.

Experiencing any or all of these is not a character flaw or weakness!

Postpartum & Infant Doulas are a great way  to help support

Postpartum Doulas can’t diagnose or treat any illness, but we are trained to recognize early and even late signs of postpartum troubles.  We can help you find professional help when you are ready to seek it!


#1 Combat & Ease Discomforts Of the Hormonal Dump with Placenta Encapsulation

Yep, many women who consume their placenta report overall feelings of well-being! “YUCK” you say. Don’t knock it till you try it I say! First Coast Doulas provides the safest, personalized service and support in and around Jacksonville Florida.

They also report-

  • having more energy
  • feeling happier
  • increased breastmilk production
  • faster healing with minimal pain
  • warding off feelings of postpartum depression

Another thing almost all women share with us is that they notice when they forget to take their capsules and their significant others seem to notice as well. Many refer to them as their happy pills!

Combat and ease the discomforts of the hormone dump after birth by hiring a professional postpartum & infant doula.

A doula for after birth is the ticket to your happiest postpartum possible! I say that with confidence! With all the buildup and prep work for birth most of the time the unique challenges of the postpartum time period is forgotten.

In our country we’re expected to bounce back after birth. We (as in the USA in it’s entirty) just doesn’t put a lot of value on the mother-baby-family connection. Neglecting to plan for the fourth trimester and nurture and care for oursleves can cause undue stress and regret to new families.

First Coast Doulas recognizes the need for support during this critical time. Families hiring First Coast Doulas have help recovering after birth, are cared for as they learn and bond with their newborns, and get more rest and sleep. Likewise those who want to get back to living the lifestyle they love have that support too.

  • showering daily (don’t laugh if you don’t have a baby yet the struggle is real)
  • being able to rehash their birth story free from judgement or criticism
  • more time for self-care like massage, manicures, and pedicures
  • date nights or ladies nights more frequently
  • 1 on 1 breastfeeding and formula feeding support
  • enjoying snacks and meals prepped
  • enjoy outings with support and encouragement
  • being connected to someone who is in the know within the community
  • having the newest information on products and guidelines

Ladies, and gentlemen I say to you, don’t neglect to plan for your best postpartum possible! It’s as unique and beautiful as your baby! After all it’s the time when you will actually have your baby here to hold, caress, and start your life together!

Why not make it your best postpartum possible? Get in touch today!

The hormonal dump your body takes after childbirth is normal. The degree to which you experience it and the rate at which you bounce back can vary.  It may or may not effect the way you care for yourself and your baby. The only one that can evaluate you and confirm with you if what you’re experiencing is normal is your healthcare provider, but there is really great news for you and your loved ones! There are two ways you can help to prepare for, ease the discomfort, and combat against the hormonal dump your body takes after birth!