What are Umbilical Cord Ties?
Umbilical cord ties are an alternative to the plastic clamps that are commonly used in a medical birth setting. They are usually made from cotton either by plating or crochet. Some people even use dental floss! They are simply tied tightly around the umbilical cord before it is cut.
Why would I want to use them?
Umbilical cord ties are still quite an unusual choice for parents in the UK. But in times gone by they were what was commonly used. Until of course someone invented the plastic clips we see today. Many parents who use them prefer them because they are much more comfortable for the baby. They make skin to skin and biological burturing easier. Also it’s harder to knock them when changing a nappy. They do look better too!
Do they need to be sterile?
This is a matter of opinion. Some suggest that you sterilise them. Either by boiling for 10 minutes. Or by putting in an envelope and baking in a hot oven for an hour. However birth is NOT a sterile event, and the ties (or plastic clamp for that matter) are only sterile until they are removed from their packaging. The umbilical cord is a dead piece of tissue which needs to rot off. In the words of my GP “it’s normal process, it’s gross and it smells”. Speak to your midwife about how to spot signs of infection in your newborn. This applies regardless of how you treat the umbilical cord.
Where can I get cord ties?
You can either make your own. Or you could buy some I have already made. I have some listed on my etsy page. I supply these with instrustions on how to sterilise them.
More information and opinions here at midwife thinking.