What happens to the umbilical cord after birth

Once your baby is delivered the umbilical cord will be clamped and cut.

A small portion of the umbilical cord will be attached to your baby, this is called the umbilical stump. The umbilical cord stump might look large and odd but it will quickly dry out and shrivel up. The umbilical cord stump will fall off approximately when your baby is between 14-21 days. It is important to keep the umbilical stump clean and dry. Do not pick at it or try to pull it off, doing to could cause bleeding or infection, it will come off naturally when it is healed.

The rest of your umbilical cord will be attached to your placenta. Your placenta will be delivered about 15-45 minutes after the birth of your baby. The doctor will examine your placenta and remaining umbilical cord. The placenta and umbilical cord will be disposed of.

Moms Expertise
    I've heard so many different things about the umbilical stump. In general, I've heard that you are supposed to keep it dry and ignore it, but when I delivered one of the kids (I don't remember which) we were told to wipe very close to it with a damp rag a few times a day to help keep the area clean.
      8Theresa Gould
      We used goldenseal rod (?) with our home birth babies and it dried out the umbilical cord so much better.
      About Katie
      Birth: November 24
      On Moms.com since: Jan 21, 2014
      ***Community Manager of Moms.com*** Mom to four amazing children. I am passionate about helping and supporting new moms as they enter into motherhood. I am a certified doula, certified childbirth educator and an accredited breastfeeding counselor.