I've recently (and by recently I mean yesterday) decided that rather than cut the cord and clamp it, I'd like to burn it.
Burning the cord rather than cutting it reduces the risk of infection (not that there's much risk at all in Western civilization) and to me is a much more peaceful, beautiful method of separating the baby from the placenta.
One way I saw it worded was, "your baby was growing inside you for nine months, it only seems right that you would take your time separating the cord!" To me, it makes a lot of sense. To be cozy, comfortable and growing inside you for so long, it does seem sort of absurd to just snip it and be done with it, doesn't it?
It seems more peaceful, more pleasant to burn it and slowly separate it, just like you slowly grew and nourished your baby inside of you. It just seems right!
I did look into lotus birthing for a while, but we decided that it wouldn't be very practical for us and I like this as an alternative. I feel like it ties into the birth experience I want very well, and I feel it's representative of both me and my baby.
There are a few ways to do this. You do need two tapered candles, and something to collect the wax.
You can find beautiful hand painted cord burning boxes here, but I think we're gonna make ours ourselves. We'll see!
Two people will burn the cord, so you need two tapered candles to hold beneath it.
I'm really into looking into things too much and I can't decide on what color candles to use. I'm stuck between white, black, purple, blue and orange.
White represents health, cleansing, purity and truth.
Black represents spellbreaking, separation and the banishment of evil.
Purple represents power, protection and keeping evil away.
Orange represents friendship, stimulation and dreams.
Blue represents peace and wisdom.
Since there are two candles used to burn the cord, I suppose we could pick one of each color. This makes the decision slightly easier, but I can still only choose 2/5!
I'm trying to think of something we could use to collect the wax, and trying to decide whether to use it for all my babies or to have a different one for each of them... Hmm. Decisions, decisions.
Anyway, the process takes 5-10 minutes on average. It's very peaceful and relaxing (have I mentioned this enough yet?). The candles may need to be re-lit, because the little bits of fluid that come out of the cord can put them out. There is also usually a pop while burning as the cord blood gases release, but this generally only happens once during the process.
You'll want to keep the cord away from the baby, wrapped in gauze, as it will be very hot to the touch. You're generally left with about 6in of cord, and when cooled you can tie a knot in it or just leave it as is. Within 24 hours it dries and shrivels up against the baby's skin, and generally will fall off 1-3 days later - as opposed to up to 10-12 days later when you simply cut it.
You can find great little bags to save the umbilical cord stump here for about $30 each. They're handmade and very beautiful! I still haven't decided if we're going to buy one or make our own, but again - we'll see!