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Sterilising Umbilical Cord Ties

There are no studies or evidence to indicate that umbilical cord ties must be sterilised before use. As long as the instruments cutting the cord are sterile, the material of the product used as a clamp, be it plastic, cotton, twine or elastic is irrelevant.

Cord ties or clamps do not come into contact with an open wound they come into contact with the baby’s umbilical cord that is filled with a substance called Wharton’s jelly. This is a soft, gelatinous substance. Cord ties or clamps keep the umbilicus closed and sealed off but it is really no different to wearing cotton clothing, the babies are wearing these ties. We do not wear plastic sterilized clothing or a sterilized nappy and these items also come into contact with the umbilical cord.

Do I have to sterilise my umbilical cord tie?

It is totally up to you and is a personal preference. If you choose to sterilise your cord tie please be aware that the moment the cord tie comes into contact with something (the air, the bag it is stored in, your hands etc.) it is no longer considered sterile.

Primabella umbilical cord ties are made with 100% cotton. This enables them to be sterilised by boiling them, as cotton won’t fray or breakdown like wool.

If you wish to sterilise your cord tie I recommend following the NHS guidance regarding sterilising which says to ‘boil equipment/items in a large pan of water for at least 10 minutes, making sure it all stays under the surface. Set a timer so you do not forget to turn the heat off. After you have finished sterilising, wash and dry your hands before handling sterilised equipment. Better still, use some sterile tongs.’ (NHS, 2019).

Before using the cord tie you should keep it somewhere safe where it won’t get damp or dirty. All cord ties are supplied in a cellophane bag for this purpose. I also send full instructions with my cord ties, which include information on sterilising and how to tie a cord tie to enable parents to follow their own personal choices.

Purchase your Primabella umbilical cord tie here at

Sterilising Umbilical Cord Tie

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