Purpose This quasi-experimental research was conducted in order to evaluate the influence of bathtub and swabing methods on umbilical cord separation time in full term babies.
Methods One-hundred full-term babies (49 bathtub, 51 swab) who were born at a state hospital between 14.03.2013 and 18.05.2013 with gestational age of 38–42 weeks, weighing 2500 gr and above and who met the selection cirteria consisted the study sample. Two booklets were prepared about bathtub and swab baths. Mothers were instructed about bathtub and swab baths, umbilcal cord care in prenatal and postnatal periods. The first postnatal visit was done at the hospital. Home visits and telephone calls were continued until the day of cord separation. Number, percent, mean and standard deviation values, qui-square and Mann-Whitney U tests were used for assessment of data.
Results The difference between groups was found statistically significant when cord separation times were compared according to bath type (p < 0.05). Swab bath was seen to significantly reduce cord separation time.
Conclusion Since wetting of the umbilical cord during tub bathing delays the separation of umbilical cord, sponge bathing is recommended for newborns until the umbilical cord falls off.