Umbilical Cord, Bleeding

Why is my child's umbilical cord bleeding?

A few drops of blood at the point of separation of the cord is common. The area may bleed a few times from the diaper rubbing on the area.

The bleeding usually stops by itself or can be stopped easily by direct pressure with a sterile gauze.

When should I call my child's healthcare provider?


  • Bleeding doesn't stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure.
  • Any bleeding amounts to more than the size of a quarter.

Call during office hours if:

  • Bleeding continues for more than 3 times.
  • You have other questions or concerns.
Written by Barton D. Schmitt, MD, author of “My Child Is Sick”, American Academy of Pediatrics Books.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-06-21
Last reviewed: 2011-06-06
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
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