Why is My Baby’s Umbilical Cord Bleeding?

Why is My Baby’s Umbilical Cord Bleeding?


It can be alarming to see blood near your newborn’s umbilical cord. But chances are, it is completely normal!


As your baby’s cord is drying, it begins to separate from the skin. As it detaches, it may bleed a little, staining baby’s sleeper or diaper.

Help! My baby's umbilical cord is bleeding. CindyandJana.com


To know if what you are seeing is normal, answer these questions:


  • How much blood do you see?

Even a little blood can look like a lot. The bleeding should be similar to the amount seen when a scab falls off.


  • Is the cord continuously oozing?

Usually, parents will see a drop or two of blood once and never see it again. If you notice blood oozing every diaper change, you will want to monitor it more closely.


  • Have you noticed any of the following?

Although it’s rare, some babies may need medical attention for a cord problem. The following would warrant a visit to your healthcare provider.

– Active dripping or bleeding that reappears as soon as you wipe it.

– Thick greenish foul smelling ‘pus’.

– Reddened, warm-to-touch skin near the umbilicus.

– Baby seems ill.



How to clean a bleeding cord


Gently wipe dried blood with a warm, damp washcloth. Using a dry cotton swab, clean around the base of the cord, where it joins your baby’s skin. This doesn’t hurt your baby; there are no nerve endings in the cord.


Fold down the diaper to expose the cord to air. This will help it to fall off faster. You can expect baby’s umbilical cord to fall off by the time he is 10 to 14 days old.


Learn more about caring for your baby’s cord in this post.


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Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.


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