Umbilical Cord Symptoms

Disponible En Espanol


  • Common questions about the umbilical cord or navel in newborns
  • The navel is also called the belly button or umbilicus


  • Umbilicus (navel) has a cloudy discharge or even some dried pus on the surface
  • Bleeding occurs from cord's point of separation
  • Separation of cord is delayed past 3 weeks

Omphalitis: Serious Complication

  • Definition. Bacterial infection of the umbilical stump with spread to the skin around it. It’s a medical emergency.
  • How Often. 1 out of 200 newborns.
  • Symptoms. Redness spreads around the navel. The area may be tender, swollen and have a foul odor.

Umbilical Granuloma: Minor Complication

  • Definition. Small round growth in center of navel after the cord falls off.  It's red and can be on a stalk. Covered with clear mucus. Not dry like normal skin.
  • How Often. 1 out of 500 newborns.
  • Outcome. Usually grows in size if not treated.  Can become an entry point for umbilical infections.
  • Treatment. Easily treated in the doctor’s office by putting on a chemical called silver nitrate.


The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

If you think that your child is having a medical emergency, call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!

And when in doubt, call your child's doctor NOW or go to the closest emergency department.

The search for nearby emergency and urgent care facilities is based upon Google search parameters. You will get results based on how facilities manage their website information.

By using this website, you accept the information provided herein "AS IS." Neither publishers nor the providers of the information contained herein will have any liability to you arising out of your use of the information contained herein or make any expressed or implied warranty regarding the accuracy, content, completeness, reliability, or efficacy of the information contained within this website.