Q:

What is umbilical cord bleeding?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the American Pregnancy Association, umbilical cord bleeding normally occurs when the stump is prematurely pulled off a newborn. Active bleeding, such as when another drop of blood appears after one is wiped away, could be a sign of infection and should be reported to a pediatrician immediately.

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Full Answer

It can take one to two weeks after birth for a baby's umbilical cord stump to fall off naturally. In that time, it is important to watch for signs of infection. An infection could lead to omphalitis, a life threatening infection of the umbilical cord. In addition to cord bleeding, a red or swollen cord base, yellow or white pus, a foul smelling discharge and cord pain are all symptoms of infection. The American Pregnancy Association recommends calling a pediatrician immediately if any of these signs of infection are present.

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