Health Tip: What Happens to the Umbilical Cord?

It will fall off shortly after birth, but watch for signs of infection

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

(HealthDay News) -- Umbilical cord health is important for the first weeks of a newborn's life. According to the Akron Children's Hospital, the cord quickly turns to dead tissue after birth, but it's necessary to watch for signs of infection.

The cord will detach 7 to 14 days after birth and parents may notice a slight odor. Parents should never try to remove the cord themselves, and babies should only be given sponge baths at this time.

Afterward, the belly button area should be kept clean. When changing your baby, make sure the diaper is not irritating this area. Parents should also watch for a sore, red area and a cranky baby as possible signs of infection near the belly button.

--

Last Updated: