What should the umbilical cord look like?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,788
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Ann Kellams discusses the appearance of the umbilical cord.

    Host: What should the umbilical cord look like?

    Dr. Ann Kellams: So for the first few days it looks like a blood vessel basically, a very large, large vessel. It's kind of a whitish-grayish color and you can see little lines where the arteries and the veins are inside of it, kind of a jelly like consistency, rubbery. After it has been clamped and the baby is a couple of days old it's going to start to get more dry-looking and more shriveled. Before it finally falls off it's usually discolored to the point of looking dark like dead tissue and then it will finally fall off. Generally, when the baby is two to three weeks old sometimes you can have a little bleeding at the side but it shouldn't be active bleeding and it shouldn't be any sort of discharge, just nice, dry, clean surface.