Umbilical Cord Separation Time among Infants Seen at the ImmuniSation Clinic of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

  • BI Abhulimhen-Iyoha
  • MO Ibadin


Objective: To document the umbilical cord separation time and factors which may influence this among a cohort of infants.
Design: Descriptive cross sectional study.
Setting: Well Baby/Immunisation clinic in University of Benin teaching hospital, Benin city, Edo state, Nigeria.
Subjects: Four hundread and ninety seven consecutive mothers with their healthy infants were documented for age, parity, place of delivery of infant, mode of delivery, gender of infants, cord care and the time it took for the umbilical stump of their infants to separate after birth or drop.
Results: The time taken after birth for the cord stump to drop or to separate from its attachment ranged from two to 28 days with a mean of 6.34 ± 3.67 days. There was a significant relationship between umbilical stump separation time on one hand and place of delivery (p < 0.001), gender of infants (p < 0.001) and cord care practice (p < 0.001) on the other hand. A significantly shorter cord stump separation time was found among babies delivered at non-orthodox centres, male infants and those who had inadequate cord care. There was no relationship between cord stump separation time and maternal parity, mode of delivery and materials used in tying the cord.
Conclusion: Cord stump separation time may be as long as 28 days and factors which may influence this include place of delivery, gender of infants and cord care practice. Knowledge of the normal range of time it takes for separation of the cord after birth is important to prevent unnecessary and maybe harmful interventions.

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