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Cord Burning Ceremony

The umbilical cord has connected the baby to the placenta for the last 9 months. It has helped to provide the baby with everything the baby needs. Even after birth the umbilical cord and placenta continue to provide blood, stem cells and T cells to the baby through their connection.

Cord burning, instead of cutting the cord, can be a gentle and respectful way to sever the bonds between the placenta, umbilical cord and baby. It can also be a safe and sanitary way for people without access to sterile scissors. Traditionally it is a beautiful and usually spiritual ceremony that honors the role of the placenta and umbilical cord to the baby and gently and slowly servers the connection between the three.

Research shows that delayed cord clamping/cutting has many positive benefits (even for premature babies). Delaying even 3 minutes has a great impact on the baby, specifically their iron levels. ACOG now recommends delayed cord clamping and cutting. I would recommend leaving the cord intact for at least 1 hour. Cord burning can be a gentle and effective way to delay cord clamping.

What You Will Need:

  • 2 long candles

  • Something to catch wax – cord burning bowl, or any small bowl you have or a cord burning box

  • Aluminium foil (to catch wax if not using one of our cord burning bowls)

  • Matches or lighter


  • Feel free to wait as long as you would like to start this procedure. You can put on music, or say a prayer, or read a poem. You can involve as many family members as you would like. This is a gentle and slow process that takes time.

  • It is easiest if baby is laying on its side. Make sure there is a good enough distance between baby and the flame (you could use a piece of cardboard)

  • Light two candles and chose a spot to burn. It should be about 7-10cm from the baby’s belly. Someone can hold the cord steady, but don’t pull on it.

  • Position the candles opposite one another. Make sure you have something to catch the hot wax.

  • There could be a pop or loud noise once you start burning the cord – this is normal and completely safe. If it makes your candle go out, just relight and keep burning. You can gently turn the cord to get an even burn.

  • It takes about 15 minutes. It will produce a smell. Some people say it smells like barbeque, other people don’t like the smell as much.

  • Check the barrier periodically to make sure it isn’t getting too hot against baby’s skin.

  • Once the cord is burned through – both ends will be hot. Wait for it to cool off before letting it rest back on baby.

  • There are cord burning bowls available HERE

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