A rediscovered practice has been spotted in the western world, which involves a more holistic way to cutting your babies umbilical cord. Often times seen as the final ritual of the birthing process, cutting the cord has always been left up to the father to complete.
However, many doula teachers “midwives” believe that the clinical snip can now be turned into a soothing bonding experience for the whole family, through cord burning. This process involves two long stemmed candles and a basin for the wax drippings as the cord is slowly burned on both ends. Regarded amongst natural childbirth practitioners as the most safe and sanitary option for home births, this alternative is also used in underdeveloped areas that do not have access to proper sterilization equipment. Cord burning is said to have a positive influence on the newborns emotional and physical development.
According to doula, Jessica Austin, many doctors make the mistake of cutting the cord less then a minute after the birthing process, while it is still pulsating and delivering blood to the baby. It is believed by holistic standards that the newborn needs time to adjust to its new surroundings outside of the mothers protected womb. Stating so that the cord should be cut after the placenta has been released and two hours have passed, allowing the baby to acclimate properly and the cord to die naturally. Once the cord is gone the baby will be losing the final supply of oxygen, blood and nutrients that it has been receiving for the last nine months. The newborn is not physically hurt by the cut, but does let out a scream acknowledging the loss. Supposedly, when the cord is slowly burned the newborn feels a warming sensation that induces a calm and tranquil state, says Dr. Joseph Kassal.
“By heating the cord and driving the last of the blood through there you are giving a profoundly tonic treatment for the baby who has just run a marathon…. Cord
burning reduces the risk of bleeding and entry of infections. You are warming digestion which will reduce the tendency for jaundice, besides just creating a strong baby which
means a good nurser”. It is believed that the process will bring the parents and baby
closer, but also the severing of ties will not be as traumatic and rushed. Below are some
sources to review if you are interested in this natural process.
Austin, Jessica, Birth Doula. “Umbilical Cord Burning: Everything You Ever Wanted to
Know.” Birth Takes a Village RSS. Blog, 24 Sept. 2013. Web. 11 Aug. 2014.
Bialik, Mayim, Ph.D. “Umbilical Cord Issues/Delayed Cord Clamping.” Umbilical Cord
Issues. Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a Homebirth Midwife in Mountain View, CA, 9 Feb.
2013. Web. 11 Aug. 2014
Pawlowski, A. “You Did WHAT at Birth?! New Moms Try Umbilical Cord Burning.”
TODAY. Today Parents, 6 Aug. 2014. Web. 11 Aug. 2014