Diseases of the umbilical cord in babies

Article written by Master, Resident Doctor Dang Thi Doc – Department of Pediatrics – Newborn – Share99 Ha Long International Health Hub

In the first weeks after birth, the child's umbilical problems are often of great interest to the family. Many abnormal signs in children are often attributed to umbilical problems such as children crying a lot because of umbilical pain,… So what are the most common umbilical diseases that affect a child's life?

1. Common diseases of the umbilical cord in babies

1.1. Umbilical infection

Bacterial umbilical infections penetrate and give birth to pus, there are 2 types:

  • Localization of the umbilical cord: red swelling in the umbilical leg, normal surrounding skin.
  • Spreading umbilical infection: red swelling around the umbilical cord leg and spreading to the surrounding skin, >=2cm in diameter.

Signs of umbilical infection such as red swelling of the navel, fluid leakage, purulent or wet navel after shedding, odor, bleeding. The child may have a fever or not, fuss, refuses to feed.


In the first weeks after birth, the child's umbilical problems are often of great interest to the family

1.2. Newborn umbilical cord granules

The disease usually occurs in children who are slow to shed their navels, as this facilitates the development of granuloma. When the umbilical cord has fallen but the umbilical cord area still has a prolonged yellowish leakage, the baby does not have fever or swelling, redness of the umbilical cord area. If not detected, umbilical granules in babies can prolong leading to umbilical infection.

1.3. Newborn umbilical hernia

Umbilical hernia occurs when the umbilical ring does not close after the umbilical cord falls. The sign is a circular mass that emerges right at the navel site. Umbilical hernias, commonly known as convex navels, are painless, rarely cause complications but only affect aesthetically and repeat themselves for the first few years or may have plastic surgery when the baby is older.


Umbilical hernia occurs when the umbilical ring does not close after umbilical cord shedding

1.4. Existence of newborn umbilical canals

Normally, the umbilical canal connected from the urogenital sinuses and the navel will be closed and fibrosis into the umbilical ligament – the bladder from during the fetus period. The existence of the urinary umbilical canal is the existence of 1 tube connected from the navel to the bladder. As such, urine can reflux from the bladder into the navel. Damage to the place of connection between the bladder and the navel to let urine pour out the umbilical cord, the umbilical cord always rusts constantly, sometimes the child has a urinary infection.

1.5. Umbilical bleeding

A few drops of blood on the middle of the umbilical cord have dried and the umbilical cord legs, bleeding from rubbing diapers into the umbilical cord. Bleeding will usually be self-held or held when gently pressing the umbilical area with a clean gauze.

If the bleeding is persistent or the bleeding is heavy (there is still bleeding after 10 minutes of pressing or continuing to bleed more than 3 times), the mother should take the baby to see a doctor, as there may be a pathology that causes umbilical bleeding.

1.6. Late umbilical cord

Usually the navel falls after 10-14 days of age, but in rare cases it can last > 3 weeks. It is recommended to keep the navel dry and check the skin around the navel every day. Rinse the secretant on the navel gently and dry. Be aware not to use alcohol or other antiseptic applied to the navel. When wearing a diaper, it is not recommended to place the diaper on the umbilical cord. After 3 weeks when the navel has not fallen, you should take your child to see a doctor.

1.7. Leaky navel

The umbilical cord leaks or is moist, or there is little pus on the surface, which usually occurs after the navel has fallen out, the child may have a mild umbilical infection or other umbilical cord pathology accompanied by the existence of umbilical canals, umbilical particle tumors … Mother should take her baby to the doctor for screening for umbilical pathology and instructions on how to care for the navel.

2. Umbilical care for babies

In babies, the umbilical cord is an open wound, which is easy to get infected if the mother does not take good care of it. This is a very dangerous condition, which if not detected and treated in a timely manner can cause complications of septicaemia for the child.

The care of the navel for babies needs to be done daily and sanitation according to the following steps:

● Before taking care of your child's navel, you need to wash your hands thoroughly, disinfect your hands with 90° alcohol.

● Gently remove your baby's umbilical cord bandages and umbilical gauze.

● Observe the umbilical cross section and the area around the navel to see if the navel is inflamed with redness, purulent, yellow discharge, bleeding, odor or any other abnormalities.

● Wipe the umbilical cord with cotton wool with er80% ripe water, then dry out the umbilical cord and umbilical cord legs.

● Disinfect the skin around the navel with physiological saline.

● It is possible to open the navel or simply cover the navel with a thin sterile gauze.

● Wrap diapers under the navel, avoiding feces, urine or anything that stains the umbilical cord.

It is necessary to monitor and care for the navel for babies daily. If one of the following signs is detected, take your baby to pediatrics immediately:

● The navel is yellowish, odorous or purulent.

● The navel bleeds profly and is difficult to hold.

● The skin around the navel is swollen, red.

● The navel has buds, prolonged water leakage.

● The umbilical cord has not fallen even though the baby has been born for 3 weeks.

● If you see abnormal umbilical cord, you absolutely do not take antibiotics or any medicines for your child without your doctor's prescription.

When children show signs of umbilical cord diseases, parents can take them to Share99 International Health Hub for examination, diagnosis and treatment. There is a team of well-trained pediatricians with high technical qualifications, experienced in medical examination and treatment of diseases of babies, children and children under 16 years old.

For detailed advice, please go directly to Share99 Health System or book an online examination HERE.


  • Abnormalities in babies after umbilical cord shedding
  • Be careful if the infant's navel gets wet, smells bad
  • How long after birth will the baby shed the navel?

About: Minh Quynh

b1ffdb54307529964874ff53a5c5de33?s=90&d=identicon&r=gI am the author of Share99.net. I had been working in Vinmec International General Hospital for over 10 years. I dedicate my passion on every post in this site.


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