Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Umbilical Cord - Bleeding


  • Bleeding occurs from cord's point of separation
  • The navel is also called the belly button or umbilicus
  • The piece of cord that stays on the baby is called the umbilical stump


Call or Return If

  • Bleeding gets worse
  • Few drops of blood but lasts more than 3 days
  • Your baby starts to look or act abnormal
  • You think your baby needs to be seen

About This Topic


  • Cord has fallen off or is getting ready to fall off
  • Cord got caught on something
  • Navel rubs against something, such as the diaper

After Care Advice

  • A few drops of blood are normal after the cord falls off. A small amount of bleeding can also occur when the cord catches on something.
  • The diaper rubbing against the belly button may make it start up again.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
  • To stop bleeding, put direct pressure on the navel for 10 minutes. Use a clean cloth.
  • Clean the area before, rather than after.
  • Reason: This helps prevent bleeding from starting back up.
  • Prevent the diaper from rubbing on the cord.
  • Do this by folding the diaper down away from the belly button.
  • You can also cut a wedge out of the diaper. Then seal the edge with tape.
What to Expect:
  • The bleeding may come back a few times.
  • It should only be a small smear of blood.
  • The bleeding site should heal up by 2 days.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2021 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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