Giving birth is sacred. One of the most important days of your life is when your baby emerges from your womb and takes its first breath. How a baby enters the world makes a difference in their life. As you journey through pregnancy, caring and nurturing your child, what if you could honor this being in a special way after they arrive?
Rituals play an important role during transitions in our lives.
As a Licensed Home birth midwife, I have learned to wait for the cord to stop pulsating before severing it. I know how much it benefits the baby to receive all of the blood the placenta has to offer.
In 2010, while volunteering at the Bumi Sehat birthing clinic in Bali, Indonesia Tracy was introduced to cord burning by the founder Robin Lim. Robin Lim began burning the cord as a method of separating baby from placenta while maintaining health and sterility and the prevention of baby tetanus during her disaster relief care in Aceh, Sumatra after the 2004 tsunami. In the United States, we don’t need to worry about infections and tetanus. It is customary to give the fathers/partners a chance to participate in the birthing process by letting them cut the cord with sterile scissors. Cord burning is a safe alternative to this method, which allows everyone present to participate in ritual and requires no metal.
Today parents have the choice to safely include this, ten minute ceremony, at their own birth if they choose. When I burned our first cord with a young couple and their baby, I found it to be a beautiful, mindful experience. I am honored to be a part of each cord burning ceremony with the family.
Cord burning is a beautiful and safe way to welcome a new baby into your family.
As your midwife, I seek to honor and hold space for each families individual cultural practices. If you have any questions please contact Your Village Midwife.
Hours after my son was born at home my midwives were there with us to burn his cord. I was given a very special gift of handmade beeswax candles and a beautiful burn box as gifts from my midwives. My husband, daughters, and a few dear friends were around us while we burned the cord. Each person took a turn holding the candle while we all sang to our baby.
As the beeswax candles burned there was a pleasant smell in the air. The ceremony created a space to quiet our minds and focus our intention on the baby. It was a time to thank the placenta for the work it did. The candle flame touched the deepest part of my soul with warmth as I watched it dance back and forth.
After the ceremony the beeswax candles can continue to burn out or they can be saved for the baby’s first birthday. Tracy gives each family a pair of homemade beeswax candles made with love on the winter solstice and is happy to help each family create a special ceremony that fits them.