The umbilical cord is the life line between baby and mother whilst the baby is in the womb. As soon as the baby is born the cord will be clamped and cut in order for the baby to establish his own circulation.
The stump of the umbilical cord is white, translucent and shiny immediately after birth. It will dry and shrivel and eventually fall off usually by 10 days but some may take longer. It separates by a process of dry gangrene which may make it a little smelly and sticky.
Whilst in hospital, the nurses will check the cord stump for bleeding and signs of infection.
On the day of discharge do check that the nurses have removed the cord clamp which is made of plastic and if not removed, it will rub on the baby’s skin making it sore. If the clamp is not removed then you will have to wait for it to fall off together with the stump.