Parents are getting custom made jewelry using their baby's umbilical cord stump so that they can wear their happiest moments close to their hearts.
Ah, the miracle of birth. For most parents, the day their child is born is one of the happiest days of their lives, and naturally, some want a way to commemorate this momentous occasion. Everyone has their own ways of doing it - some parents organize newborn photo shoots, some get tattoos, and others - well, others get jewelry made from their baby's umbilical cord. Yup, it's a thing you can do, and there are several jewelers who specialize in making customized pieces out of a baby's umbilical cord stump.
The stump is the part of the child's umbilical cord that stays on the belly after the cord is cut, and naturally falls off within three weeks of the birth itself. Florida-based Ruth Avra is one designer who uses these stumps to make custom jewelry, using a casting method called the lost wax process. Avra was inspired shortly after she and a friend gave birth at around the same time in 2012. “I put both stumps next to each other on the table. Lightning bolts struck and I had a plan,” Avra told The New York Post. After making a piece for herself, the jeweler launched her shop, A La Avra, and sells silver umbilical cord necklaces for $200 apiece so that parents can forever have their baby close to their hearts. Each piece is unique as no two stumps are alike, and Avra typically takes six to eight weeks to create each one. “It represents the connection between mother and child because it’s literally the physical connection that is between you,” she explained.
Avra told TODAY that she's sold hundreds of necklaces, bracelets and other pieces made from umbilical cord stumps since she first thought of the idea. Parents send her the stumps and wait as she works with silver and resin to create something that they can wear forever. Avra's not the only jewelry maker keeping the memories of childbirth alive - many others are also latching onto the trend as the demand for umbilical cord jewelry grows. Another jeweler called Speckled Milk makes sterling silver rings and lockets with inclusions of your choice - you can ask for the ring to be made with breast milk, a pet's fur or ashes, a lock of hair, dried flowers, and yes, even an umbilical cord stump. Speckled Milk also sells custom soaps made out of the customer's breast milk...but that's a conversation for another day.
\Why not. It's a unique way for parents to remember a joyous occasion, and to carry the memory of that day with them forever. Of course, not everyone agrees, and several Twitter users think that the concept is just plain gross.
@WPOC ABSOLUTELY NO re: umbilical cord jewelry!!! Eewwwww— Cheryl Brown Cline (@CherylCRNA) November 6, 2018
Umbilical cord jewelry? No. Just no. Yuck. https://t.co/h1VEZZpVXM— jo (@AGirlABookEtc) November 2, 2018
These people have way too much time on their hands.— 1dayin365 (@b4ifade) November 3, 2018
Gross! Stop saving EVERYTHING! 🤦🏼♀️— Michelle🔜🛌 (@MeShellaBella72) November 3, 2018
WHAT AND WHY! I made out just fine 40 years ago without umbilical jewelry! Thank you very much anyway!!❤️— Cathy Rosa Quigley (@Quigmoose) November 7, 2018
alternative headline: Some parents are crazy— Josh (@Celebrity4Pres) November 21, 2018
But there are some people (as well as Avra and Speckled Milk's dedicated customer base, no doubt), that think it's a beautiful idea.