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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.
Pediatric Advisor 2015.3 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-06-21
Last reviewed: 2015-06-11
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.
Copyright ©1986-2015 Barton D. Schmitt, MD FAAP. All rights reserved.
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