Some people take cute pictures after the birth of their child to remember the big moment. Others frame their baby’s hand prints. And then others turn their baby’s umbilical stump into a pretty necklace. Yes, body part jewelry is a bizarre new trend for parents—and we aren’t exactly sure how to feel about it.
Imagine that black, strange-looking lump that hangs from your baby’s belly button and eventually falls off on its own. That’s the umbilical stump. Now imagine that same thing draped around your neck. Or on a ring. Or as a pair of earrings.
It sounds strange but there is some reasoning behind the DNA-inspired jewelry. In some cultures, for example, parents save the umbilical cord for good luck, while others just want a physical reminder of the miracle that is childbirth. And what better way to accomplish both of those things than by turning the stump into a charm?
As New-Agey as it seems, wearing bodily parts and fluids as accessories has been around for a little while now. And it includes more than just umbilical cords. There are companies and artists that will make jewelry out of everything from breast milk to baby teeth to even the placenta.
Ruth Avra is one of those artists. The Florida mom first started experimenting with the trend in 2012, when she made a necklace out of her friend’s son’s umbilical stump. “[The pieces] come out more elegant looking than people realize when you just talk about what they are,” she explained, adding that “it’s about being able to remember and cherish and hold on to those connections.
But Avra also agrees it isn’t for everyone. “It takes a certain person to love it,” she laughed. “Some people think it’s amazing; some people think it’s disgusting.”