Umbilical cord jewellery is a thing - here's what you need to know about it

8th Nov 18 | Beauty

Parents are turning their baby's cord into a wearable keepsake.

Newborn baby with umbilical cord sleeping

From pregnancy photo shoots and baby showers, to footprint pictures and birth date tattoos, there are many ways to commemorate the gestation of your child.

But have you ever considered carrying their umbilical cord with you at all times?

That’s what some parents are now doing – however, it’s not as weird as it may sound. Umbilical cord jewellery uses the dried remains of the cord as part of a wearable design.

“I started creating DNA keepsakes about three years ago when I wanted my own piece of jewellery made from my breast milk,” explains Sam Small, founder of Iddy Biddy Buddah Designs, based in New Zealand.

“I saw it as a way to acknowledge how difficult my breastfeeding journey had been.”

“I have a design and crafting background so I knew I could create something very special for myself,” says Small, who makes bespoke rings, necklaces, earrings, cufflinks and more using samples such as cremation ashes, locks of baby hair, pet fur, baby teeth and dried placenta.

“I also had both of my children’s placentas encapsulated, and part of that process involved dehydrating their umbilical cords.

“Many parents keep their baby’s umbilical stumps as a memento, so I thought, why not use them to create meaningful and beautiful pieces of jewellery that can be worn and kept close?

“I realised there was a market for these kind of sentimental keepsakes and things have grown from there.”

Umbilical cord jewellery from Iddy Biddy Buddha Designs
Umbilical cord jewellery from Iddy Biddy Buddha Designs (Iddy Biddy Buddah Designs/PA)

How does it work? At Iddy Biddy Buddah Designs, Small incorporates part of the umbilical cord, setting it in resin the colour of your choice (with glitter if desired), but designs vary according to the maker.

Etsy seller Jackie Goldman Kaufman of RockMyWorldInc encapsulates entire dried umbilical cords in sterling silver to create a pendant necklace, or she can use a mould of the cord to make the pendant, that way you get to keep the cord as well.

American brand Made With Love Keepsakes uses crushed placenta as part of glitzy jewel-encrusted ring designs.

The jewellery is certainly beautiful to look at, but not everyone approves of the concept, but given what women have to go through during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond, surely it’s up to them what they choose to do with their baby’s umbilical cord? If they want to wear all or part of it in a piece of jewellery, they should go for it.

© Press Association 2018

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