Parenting trend - Umbilical cord art – ingenious or weird?

Parenting trend - Umbilical cord art – ingenious or weird?

Turning your baby’s umbilical cord into art has gained a following in the West but would you pay hundreds of dollars for this piece of art?

umbilical cord

When we think umbilical cord, we usually think cord blood banking or maybe a preserved keepsake that you can show your child one day but not necessarily art. But that’s about to change if this couple have their way.

Umbilical Cord Art?

Cord art

Keith and Stephanie are founders of Little Cord Art, a company that turns your child’s umbilical cord into works of art.

What?! You might exclaim, but this idea is gaining momentum in the West as more parents opt to have their child’s umbilical cord turned into artwork to be placed on walls in the home for everyone to see.

How did they get the idea?

The husband and wife duo came up with the idea when their son was born in 2009.

“When I was pregnant with him in 2009 a routine ultrasound revealed that the umbilical cord had two blood vessels rather than the typical three—a condition called single umbilical artery that occurs in roughly 10% of pregnancies. Because Keith is a medical doctor with fellowship training in pathology, he was keen to look at the histology (microscopic study of tissue) of the cord after our son was born. It looked beautiful and we created the first canvas for our son’s nursery,” shares Stephanie in an interview with

The process

littlecordart collage

According to Little Cord Art, umbilical cords which are sent to them will be cut and every freshly cut cross section will be sent to its lab where it is stained, magnified 400 times and photographed using a high resolution camera.

The result? An artistic impression of your baby’s unique umbilical cord.

Little Cord Art also undergoes great measures to assure the authenticity and exclusivity of each piece of art.

Stephanie shares, “We process every umbilical cord in a licensed lab facility using the latest clinical pathology equipment and techniques. Trained and certified technicians and physicians handle each cord specimen from start to finish. When we receive your cord sample, we set it in paraffin wax, slice individual specimens, and place them on microscope slides, which we photograph to create the art. After the canvas is printed we’ll send the slides to the client to keep.”

The cost and shipping to Asia

Of course nothing comes for free and the cost of the original artworks range from US$385 for a 16×20 rectangle canvas to over US$600 for a 18×44 panoramic canvas.

Little Cord Art does ship to Asia, though it will cost a bit more than their standard shipping rates.

To place an order, do visit their website and place an order at least 4 weeks before your baby is due. Little Cord Art will send a collection kit, which includes the instructions and materials needed to gather and preserve a small section of the cord. It includes return packaging.

For mums to be who want to create the art and are due very soon, you can ask your doctor to save a 2-3 cm piece of the cord in formalin (preservative) solution. You can then send the kit back to Little Cord Art.

Weird or ingenious?

Personally I think it’s a bit of both and therein lies its charm. The umbilical cord is a rather sentimental and special thing as it is the only organ that both mother and baby share. And to turn that into a one-of-a-kind work of art that is both beautiful and deeply personal is a brilliant thing.

Additionally it’s way cooler than showing off your child’s dried and preserved umbilical cord stump to guests and the weird unexpected factor just makes it a fabulous conversation piece!

Check out their lookbook here:



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Written by

Roshni Mahtani

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