How Did People in Ancient Times Cut the Umbilical Cord?

Throughout history, the process of giving birth has been a miraculous yet challenging experience for women. While modern technology and medical advancements have made it easier to give birth, ancient times were quite different. In this article, we will explore how people in ancient times cut the umbilical cord.

Ancient Times and Childbirth

Childbirth was a difficult process in ancient times since there were no hospitals or modern medical facilities available. Women gave birth at home with the help of midwives or other female family members. The process of cutting the umbilical cord was also quite different from what we see today.

The Umbilical Cord

Before we dive into how people cut the umbilical cord in ancient times, let’s understand what it is. The umbilical cord is a flexible tube-like structure that connects a fetus to the placenta during pregnancy. It provides oxygen and nutrients to the fetus and removes waste products from its body.

How Was the Umbilical Cord Cut?

In ancient times, cutting the umbilical cord was not as simple as it is today. There were no surgical scissors or clamps available, so people had to use whatever tools were available to them.

One of the most common tools used was a sharp stone or shell. The midwife or family member would sterilize it by boiling it in water before using it to cut the cord.

Another tool that was used was a piece of string or thread. The midwife would tie a knot around the umbilical cord and then use a sharp object like a knife or even her teeth to cut it.

Beliefs and Customs

In many cultures, cutting the umbilical cord was considered an important ritual. It symbolized separating the newborn from its mother’s womb and welcoming it into the world as an individual being.

In some cultures, the cord was not cut immediately after birth. Instead, it was left to dry out and fall off naturally within a few days. This practice was believed to have spiritual significance in some cultures.


In conclusion, the process of cutting the umbilical cord in ancient times was quite different from what we see today. People had to use whatever tools were available to them, and it was often a challenging and risky process. Despite this, people managed to give birth and bring new life into the world with the help of their ingenuity and resourcefulness.