Real mothers burn the umbilical cord

It’s been an interesting week in the world of homebirth crazy. We’ve talked about supreme narcissist Janet Fraser who let her own baby die for no better reason than bragging rights, a Fraser acolyte who described her second trimester miscarriage with retained placenta and major hemorrhage as “physiological“, and the incredible immaturity of homebirth advocates who think the bigger the risk, the better the birth.

Let’s end on a high note with homebirth nonsense even more ridiculous than what typically passes for “knowledge” among homebirth advocates. Did you know that the best mothers burn their babies’ umbilical cords?

This bit of wisdom stupidity comes from Clare Loprinzi, an Oregon homebirth midwife who was forced to resign her license rather than face criminal prosecution. Unable to practice in Oregon, she moved to Hawaii to peddle her deadly nonsense there.

How stupid and dangerous is Clare Loprinzi? Consider the “explanation” of severing the umbilical cord by burning it:

The umbilicus is the entry place to all abdominal organs. It is the core. by heating it and driving the last of the blood in there you are giving a profoundly tonic treatment for the baby who has just run a marathon.

It would reduce the risk of bleeding and entry of infections. You are warming digestion which will reduce the tendency for jaundice, besides just creating a strong baby which means a good nurser.

Colostrum as we know aids in setting up the digestive system and binds the iron in the gut. This stops them from reabsorbing the iron and eliminating it with healthy bowel movements from a healthier baby.

How moronic is this? Let us count the ways.

  1. The umbilical cord contains blood vessels and does not provide entry to the abdominal cavity. Any blood still in it drains to the inferior vena cava and thence to the heart.
  2. Heating the blood in the cord by candle flame does not “drive” it anywhere. It simply burns it.
  3. Warming the digestion? Last I heard, the abdominal organs work best at 98.6°, standard body temperature.
  4. Reduces the risk of jaundice? How could that be when jaundice is caused by an excess of bilirubin, not “cold” abdominal organs?
  5. Colostrum? Iron? Bowel movements? What does this have to do with cord burning? Nothing, but LoPrinzi apparently thought it sounded good so she threw it in.

Loprinzi demonstrates cord while stretching the cord over a metal kidney basin. Don’t worry, though, you don’t have to use something so unnatural. You can actually buy purpose built wooden (all natural!) boxes to get the job done.

Here’s what surprises me about umbilical cord burning: no not the elaboration of this nonsense by a homebirth midwife. Most of what homebirth midwives have to say is nonsense.

What I want to know how can any woman with a modicum of intelligence fall for this crap and hire someone who promotes it?

108 Responses to “Real mothers burn the umbilical cord”

  1. Hayley Kocur
    April 19, 2019 at 4:50 pm #

    Clare saved my life by this method! Helped stop my bleeding…
    People who practice western medicine that have a closed mind to other practices need to take the blinders off, STOP the hate (judging) and realize there is “more than 1 way to skin the cat”…. I encourage you Amy to support & build up fellow females verses criticizing. Mom my taught me-if you do not have something nice to share than don’t say anything at all. Lastly, meet Clare. I am sure you both can teach each other something positive. Life is to short to be toxic… Much Aloha

  2. Max
    January 22, 2016 at 7:39 pm #

    So what is bad about the process? You only gave examples of how the “midwife’s” medical knowledge was sub-par. There is nothing in the article saying why cord burning is dangerous. To anything but your bank account, of course.

  3. sophie dalemans
    December 16, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    You disgust me. Why do you keep writing?

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      December 16, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

      Why do you think I care about what a counterfeit “midwife” thinks?

      • sophie dalemans
        December 18, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

        Poogles: Many bad writers and good writters with nothing to say have written books, so let me doubt about the necessity of Amy Tuteur’s book.
        Amy Tuteur: The fact that you answered my very brief message makes me think you do care.
        Poogles: It is impossible for me to tell you ‘what exactly I find disgusting about Dr. Amy and her writing’ because disgust is simply what I feel in my whole being after reading any of her ‘articles’.

        • sophie dalemans
          December 18, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

          I don’t want to judge or criticize you, but the bitterness and offensive tone of your writing appears unnecessary to me and I simply wish you could keep it for yourself instead of putting out for others to read.
          Humbly,
          Sophie

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            December 18, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

            “You disgust me, but I’m not judging!”

          • sophie dalemans
            December 18, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

            ‘You are disgusting’ would be a judgment, ‘You disgust me’ is an observation.

          • Poogles
            December 22, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

            “‘You are disgusting’ would be a judgment, ‘You disgust me’ is an observation.”

            So, if a woman is breastfeeding in public (as an example) and someone walks up to her and says “you disgust me” they are simply making an observation and not judging the woman?

            Somehow, if you witnessed such an exchange, I doubt you would think the person was simply expressing their observation and would rightly realize they were passing judgement on the breastfeeding woman.

          • momofone
            December 18, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

            “I’m not judging you, but here are some of my judgments about you.”

          • sophie dalemans
            December 18, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

            Honestly observing and expressing myself.

          • momofone
            December 18, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

            Really? “You disgust me” is not a judgment? I don’t imagine anyone cares what your personal opinion of them is, but I’m fascinated by your obliviousness. I wonder if you think the parts where you described yourself as “humble” and “honestly observing” negate the rest of what you said. (They don’t.)

          • Poogles
            December 22, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

            “I simply wish you could keep it for yourself instead of putting out for others to read.”

            I, for one, am very glad Dr. Amy DIDN’T “keep it to herself” since it has been through her writing that I have learned so much not just about homebirth but about birth in general, as well as breastfeeding, parenting, vaccines and more. I know that I am not alone here.
            You may find it disgusting, many find it refreshing and desperately needed.

        • Poogles
          December 22, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

          “It is impossible for me to tell you ‘what exactly I find disgusting about Dr. Amy and her writing’ because disgust is simply what I feel in my whole being after reading any of her ‘articles’.”

          You don’t think perhaps it could be beneficial to you to try and analyze why her writing provokes such a strong reaction? Personally, if someone’s writing caused me to feel digust in my whole being, and it wasn’t immediately apparent why, I would try to pin down why – perhaps it is challenging a cherished belief? Perhaps it reminds me of something else that I know disgusts me? Perhaps the writer is trying to disgust me or perhaps I have misunderstood the author’s point.

          To read several things by an author and experience disgust in my whole being every time without understanding why but then leaving it at that and walking away…seems intellectually lazy at the very least.

    • Poogles
      December 16, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

      “You disgust me. Why do you keep writing?”

      Your disgust is noted – want to actually add anything to the conversation, like what exactly you find so disgusting about Dr. Amy and her writing?

      I assume she keeps writing because she is trying to counter the dangerous misinformation being spread by homebirth midwives and the like. Not to mention that there are many more who find Dr. Amy’s writing to be refreshing, guilt-relieving, accurate and helpful, even if you find it “disgusting”. Enough people enjoy her writing, in fact, that she has a forthcoming book: “Push Back: Guilt in the Age of Natural Parenting”.

  4. Zim
    July 31, 2014 at 1:20 am #

    Nopes! The first time I read about this cord burning thing, even I felt if it is sane enough to do this? Fire near a baby? What most ancient people used to do was okay. Technology has advanced and we are in the 21st Century! I think this would be my last resort of severing the umbilical cord (say I get into labour somewhere in the desert with normal people doing my delivery).

  5. Becki
    June 26, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    horrified by this entire website and would love THIS to be burned!!!
    How the hell do you think women gave birth for thousands of years before pushy, opinionated OB’s like you! Disgraceful dis-empowerment of the human race you should be ashamed and stuck off ever being able to be around women going through the most sacred time of their lives!

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      June 26, 2014 at 11:37 am #

      After you’ve been gullible enough to believe the crap written by other natural childbirth advocates, I’ll bet this site is horrifying.

      But the solution to your ignorance is not to burn the information that shows you are ignorant. That’s what fascists do.

      • becki
        June 26, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

        Ha Ha you are priceless. Years and thousands of separate studies of birth all with the same conclusion are crap and make me gullible you say. Oh well I guess the world better just change its mind on how studies and resource is done and instead just go with the views and opinions of crazy people with MD after their name. Or maybe you’re right I’m a gullible fascist!!!

  6. Guest
    April 21, 2014 at 1:35 am #

    Lotus birth is a cultural practice and personal choice. It is pretty ignorant to call it dumb. We all have strong beliefs about what is right for us but it is not fair to rip on a cultural practice that has been in place longer than modern obstetrics. Here in the western world we submit male babies to some cultural practices that some would name “dumb” or inhumane but it is a common cultural practice. As parents we need to be open minded to raise open minded children.
    Women should be supportive of each other. I am not sure where your unhappiness comes from to feel the need to write a biased comment to Darah?

  7. Skeptic as well
    July 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    I like how all you have to say is negative and you have nothing to support your way of doing things. Bravo! you went to medical school! LOL

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      July 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      Do you have a point or are you just whining?

    • This blog is inaccurate...
      April 21, 2014 at 1:27 am #

      There is a reason she has all this time to post on a blog with incorrect statistics. She is not working! Wonder the real back story there 😉
      No doubt that she will have time to respond unprofessionally to my post as well.

      • birthbuddy
        April 21, 2014 at 5:03 am #

        Please demonstrate and correct any incorrect statistics.
        Just one example to start with will be OK.

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