There are plenty of ways for new parents to remember their child’s birth: a photo album, a handprint, or, apparently, a framed piece of their baby’s umbilical cord shaped like a heart. It’s a bizarre trend that has been around for a while but recently returned to the spotlight with a viral Reddit post.
On April 8, user u/Icy9kills shared a photo of his aunt’s newborn’s umbilical cord, which had been shaped into a heart and dried. The majority of the nearly 30,000 reactions so far are negative, as people are equal parts shocked and disgusted by the artwork.
“I think I vomited in my mouth a little,” wrote one user, while another chimed in, “Being a mom seems to give you a license to do shit that would otherwise be serial killer-ish.”
But saving a baby’s umbilical cord and turning it into art is more common than people may think, according to social media. There are plenty of pictures of the cord formed into words (with “love” being the most popular), different designs, and even their child’s initials.
Other parents are opting to wear their infant’s umbilical cord as jewelry with rings, pendants, earrings, and charms made from the stump itself. One jewelry designer, Jackie Kaufman, who specializes in pieces made from the afterbirth, explained to TODAY, “The jewelry I make, for the most part is not beautiful, but has a special meaning to the customers — that makes what I do have meaning.”
To the people who find it creepy, she added, “Do not judge. Everyone finds meaning in different things and beauty comes to some in the meaning of the piece, not in the look of it from an outside perspective.”