Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Health Science (Hons.)


School of Nursing


Western Australian College of Advanced Education

First Advisor

David Shorten


Umbilical cord separation vary throughout the world. This variation makes it difficult to advise parents when the umbilical cord will separate. The purpose of this study was to determine the length of time until umbilical cord separation for a sample of babies born in Perth. A descriptive study was conducted at two hospitals using two different cord care methods. Data were collected on a convenience sample of 228 babies by a structures telephone interview. Mothers were contacted at home after cord separation and asked questions about the study variables. Influencing variables included type and frequency of cord care, sex, mode of delivery, weight, infection and type of nappies. Data were analysed using a Statistical Analysis System statistical package to obtain statistics such as means, standard deviations and ranges. The mean time until cord separation was 8.73 days but was over two days earlier in babies that were treated with dry cord care compared to those that had cord separated between 6-10 days post delivery and rarely after 20 days. Further research is recommended using an experimental design and bacteriological examination to evaluate whether dry cord care is safe and effective cord care methods.