Umbilical Cord Burning: Separating Mom & Baby at Birth with a Slow Bonding Ritual

baby health, birth and labor, cord clamping, cutting the umbilical cord later, natural birth, natural labor, preterm babies, umbilical cord clamping, waiting to cut the cord, lotus birth, burning the cord, cord burn, umbilical cord burning

It’s common practice in the United States to have your partner, midwife or doctor cut your baby’s umbilical cord almost immediately after birth, even though research says we clamp and cut the umbilical cord far too soon, thus denying umbilical cord blood and crucial stem cells to transfer from mama to baby. Now another option for severing the cherished tie between mother and baby has come to the forefront in America: umbilical cord burning — which can help solve the cutting-too-soon issue and provide parents with an experience to remember. While cord burning is a newer trend here in the U.S., it’s far from being a novel procedure. According to Today Parents, umbilical cord burning is a practice that’s been around for many years in varying cultures, and today’s parents are catching on that it may be a great way to celebrate the birth of their baby. A major pro for parents is that because cord burning takes a while, this practice helps slow down the pace after the baby arrives, allowing everyone to appreciate and enjoy the moment, rather than race through the precious moments of new life with a quick snip of the cord.

Would You Burn Your Baby's Umbilical Cord?

  • 2 Votes Yes! This sounds like a wonderful bonding experience.
  • 12 Votes No! This does not sound enjoyable.

View Results

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baby health, birth and labor, cord clamping, cutting the umbilical cord later, natural birth, natural labor, preterm babies, umbilical cord clamping, waiting to cut the cord, lotus birth, burning the cord, cord burn, umbilical cord burning

Cord burning is just like it sounds. A partner, friend or sibling holds a candle underneath the umbilical cord until it burns through, a process that can take 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cord. Some parents use a burn box for the event, a box with special grooves in it to hold candles and catch dripping wax. Some families use a barrier between the baby and the flame while others simply stretch the cord out and keep the flame well away from the baby. After the burning, the cord stays attached to the baby, but the family or care provider will tie a knot in it to decrease its length. Usually the cord will fall off on its own about 3 to 5 days later. Sacred Severance has a good FAQ about the entire cord burning process if you’re interested. What do you think of this trend? Would you burn your baby’s umbilical cord? Take the poll above or let us know in the comments.

RELATED | Lotus Birth: New Trend Keeps Umbilical Cord & Placenta Attached to Newborn for Days

+ Source: Is this birth trend ‘gross’ or ‘magical’? Burning the umbilical cord

+ Umbilical Cord Burning: Everything you ever wanted to know

Images via Today Parents via Santa Cruz Birth Photography

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