So, cord burning is a THING. That people do. With umbilical cords.
Cord burning is a ritual that takes place instead of cord clamping. Long after the cord has stopped pulsing, two candles are held near the cord and the flame severs and cauterizes the cord.
"Near the cord? Like, near the baby? Not MY baby! "
(Don't worry, there's a box for that.)
(You can also use cardboard.)
In our lovely first world country, with our access to clean water and sterile instruments, the benefits of cord clamping are not so tangible. It requires a pause in the typical hustle after the birth, which can be quite welcomed. It can serve as an invitation for involvement and is a great way to include siblings. On the practical front it does away with the need for a cord clamp or band since the cord is fully cauterized.
However, in places where access to clean water and instruments is limited or non-existent, cord burning can save lives. Cord burning reduces the risk of newborn tetanus to zero as the cauterization prevents any germ entry through the cord. In the event of recent natural disasters this has saved lives.
If you are birthing in a hospital setting it may be tough to get clearance to have an open flame (though it's always worth a shot). If you find yourself planning a homebirth, however, consider adding this ritual to your wish list. And, let me know how it goes! I'd love to hear about it.
For more info, check out www.cordburning.com.