New mums are turning away from medical umbilical cord clamps for a new trend of knitting their own personalised option.

Professionals are slamming the trend saying it is “a dangerous fashion fad”, and the non-sterile materials are a recipe for infection, reports news.com.au.

Private midwives are reporting 80 per cent of women are bringing their own DIY cord clamps to the birth and babies will usually wear them for a week or until the cord stump is fully healed.

Brisbane midwife Emma Nolan says the trend has exploded over the last few years.

“I used one on my own child three years ago but then you couldn’t get any of the pretty decorative ones, today there are loads of patterns online showing how to make them and you can buy personalised designs. It’s not really about the aesthetics though, the traditional plastic clamp is very hard and uncomfortable under the nappy for a newborn and mums just took it upon themselves to come up with a better option,” she said.

Ms Nolan says she believes infection is unlikely as most parents keep the decorative part outside of the nappy.

Brisbane obstetrician Gino Pecoraro warns mums against the DIY clamps.

“I suspect this is merely the latest in a series of fads around childbirth and seems to be more about fashion and wanting to stand out rather than dealing with a real issue,” Dr Pecoraro said.

“My concern with a crocheted or knitted wool device is the potential for infection as they can easily get wet as they become covered in faeces and urine. The plastic ones are sterile, have stood the test of time and are easy to apply. It may well be that a clamp made of something more pliable like a siliconised rubber which would be easier for the mums to look after and that can be explored,” he said.


One UK mum shares, “In their simplest form, cord ties are plaited lengths (around 20-30cm) of embroidery threads which are then tied round the cord, knotted, tied round again and knotted once more (there are varying opinions on which way is best to tie the cord ties, but if you tie it firmly and tightly you can’t go wrong).

You can sterilise them, by boiling them and then freezing them in a zip lock bag until needed (or until you go in labour, so they have time to defrost) but it isn’t necessary. I didn’t bother sterilising our cord ties last time with the toddler, and won’t again with Wee Bun.”

umbilical cord

Will you stick to the traditional clamp? Share your comments below.

Main image via shutterstock

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  • How stupid are some people to increase the risk of infection for a baby who does not yet have any immunity.


  • It’s up to each Mum to decide what she wants to do. As for me, I wouldn’t want to take the chance of causing an infection.


  • To each their own – I am sure most mothers would make sure that no nasties were still on the cord to infect their babies.


  • Not for me but each to their own.


  • Dear Tracy Hardy.

    The above article you have written is a piece of garbage.
    My name is Heather and I am in fact the creator of the the Rainbow Cord Tie pictured that you used for your article.
    Firstly, I wanna say, thank you for the free advertising for my little shop, for those interested you can click on my photo and will be directed to my Etsy store????!
    Secondly, I would like to point out that you didn’t contact me nor ask for my permission to use or link my information, that’s pretty unethical if you ask me.
    Thirdly, ok this might be hard for you to comprehend Tracy, what did the human race do before the impractical, bulky and somewhat ugly plastic clamp????????? I mean as a human race, how did we survive? There must have been many many MANY babies with infected, fecal and urine soaked umbilical cord stumps that got very ill.
    Dating back to I don’t know when, the cord was tied off with floss or cotton and it was extremely effective at doing its job.
    So why is it now dangerous for woman to want to revert back to the good old days and use a method that worked and was easier to maintain?
    The last thing I would like to say is am kinda doing a little happy dance that with the above trash you published, I am now the creator and seller of a ‘fashion fad’. How EXCITING!!! Yay me????????????????!!!
    I’m off to celebrate.


    • Thank you for being a breath of fresh air and logic on this fear mongering article and following comments. OMG how did we survive without plastic for so long?? LOL

      All of those tiny plastic ridges get FULL of poo. Mothers aren’t stupid.

      • Maybe if the mother cleaned the clamp of Faeces and urine then infection would not be a problem.



  • Used these with my daughter and I will never go back to that clunky plastic! The plastic pulled at my sons cord stump and caused bleeding and irritation, never had one problem with my daughters cord tie. Can’t wait for my gorgeous friend who know has a business doing this she was so busy with requests to make one for me next time!


  • wow I had no idea people would even consider these…. boiling cotton and putting them in a plastic bag is not sterilising them.. not just that but as soon as they are applied there is no way to stop the cotton from becoming contaminated and causing infection.. there’s a reason the clamps are used and I will be using them


  • Never heard of this before. Dont think i would do it.


  • Grose! Do they keep the stump and put it in the baby’s book too?


  • Wow! Didn’t even know this was a thing, doesn’t sound like a very good idea.


  • I wouldn’t think about using a clamp which is made from crocheted or knitted wool as it’s not very hygienic indeed.


  • I had never heard of these and im guessing thats a good thing.
    Its not like the clamp is on there for long anyway but I would stick with the medically recommended clamp thank you.


  • Pretty gross! I personally wouldn’t use one cause it does gross if the have a poonami!!!


  • Never heard of these till now but can’t say I am impressed.
    Surely your bubs health is more important than vanity.


  • I would definitely stick to the plastic clamp…they are not even that bulky…well i don’t think they are at least.


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