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Attention new mums: The latest newborn trend is not one doctors recommend.

Attention pregnant women. There’s a new birth trend gaining popularity but doctors are warning that it may have serious health complications for babies.

I’m talking about decorative umbilical cord clamps. Knitted ones to be specific.

According to the Courier Mail, new mothers are electing to bring their own knitted umbilical cord ties with them to hospital rather than using the sterile plastic ones supplied. Those in favour of the trend say the DIY versions are more aesthetically pleasing as well as being more comfortable for the baby.

In case you’re not familiar, a cord clamp is used after the umbilical cord is cut at birth.

Parents leave the clamp on for a few days (up to a week) at which point it is removed and the stump naturally starts to separate and fall off.

The clamp used in hospitals is made of hard plastic and is around 3-4 cm long. DIY versions are knitted or crocheted and can be made in any colour or style.

Knitted and crocheted cord clamps are sold online. Image via Etsy.

Sydney midwife Matilda Durmish says that she has only seen a handful of the DIY versions.

"I did have a mum who came to hospital with one but I've heard it's something becoming more popular with ladies who choose a home birth. Apparently you can get them (the clamps) made and even personalised which, I suppose, is a nice keepsake but I would advise using the hospital issued ones for safety and maybe keep the pretty ones if you'd like.

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"You have to remember that they're going to get pretty gross after a while and they would smell.

"My issue would mainly be around hygiene. You don't want anything that's going to cause an infection, especially in someone so small."

So how popular is this trend?

Well, according to private midwives in Queensland, 80 per cent of women are bringing their own DIY clamps to their private births. The clamps have been made either by mum herself using patterns online or have been made by a business specialising in the trend. The increase in popularity has prompted doctors to warn parents of the dangers of using homemade knitted clamps.

A standard umbilical cord clamp, issued by a hospital. Image via istock.

Brisbane based Obstetrician Gino Pecoraro told The Courier Mail, "I suspect this is merely the latest in a series of fads around childbirth and seems to be more out of fashion and wanting to stand out rather than dealing with a real issue.

"My concern with a crocheted or knitted wool device is the potential for infection as they can easily get wet as they become covered in faeces and urine. The plastic ones are sterile, have stood the test of time and are easy to apply.

"It may well be that a clamp made of something more pliable like a siliconized rubber which would be easier for mums to look after can be explored." he said.

Featured image: Instagram.

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