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What happens after my newborn's umbilical cord falls off?

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The stump from your baby’s umbilical cord usually falls off on its own in about two weeks after birth. You might see a yellow, sticky fluid ooze out. It’s not pus and it’s normal. Keep the area clean and dry.

You might also see a scab over the navel. This is normal, too. But if your baby’s stomach gets red, he runs a fever, or you notice a cloudy discharge, call your doctor. Sometimes, a little scar tissue may form a red mass on the belly button. This bump is called an umbilical granuloma. If you see this and it doesn’t go away in about a week, let your doctor know. Silver nitrate helps dry it up. The cord has no nerves, so your baby won’t feel it.

When the stump is gone, you’ll know if your baby is an “innie” or an “outie.”

SOURCES:

National Health Service in England: “What is the Umbilical Cord?”

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: “Umbilical Cord Care,” “Umbilical Hernia.”

American Pregnancy Association: “Umbilical Cord Care.”

Children’s Hospital Colorado, “Umbilical Cord Symptoms.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Umbilical Cord Care.”

Seattle Children’s Hospital: “Should Your Child See a Doctor? Umbilical Cord Symptoms.”

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital: “Innies vs. ‘Outies’.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on October 16, 2018

SOURCES:

National Health Service in England: “What is the Umbilical Cord?”

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: “Umbilical Cord Care,” “Umbilical Hernia.”

American Pregnancy Association: “Umbilical Cord Care.”

Children’s Hospital Colorado, “Umbilical Cord Symptoms.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Umbilical Cord Care.”

Seattle Children’s Hospital: “Should Your Child See a Doctor? Umbilical Cord Symptoms.”

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital: “Innies vs. ‘Outies’.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on October 16, 2018

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