This Is What A Baby Born In The Amniotic Sac Looks Like

Did you know that in some births, a woman's water never breaks?

And that when that happens, the baby can actually be born still inside the amniotic sac? 

I've often wondered if I would have had an “en-caul” birth (the term for a baby being born inside the sac) with my kids, because I never actually had my water break on its own. Even when I was fully dilated and ready to push, my midwife actually had to break my water for me. But, alas, I'll never get to find out if I would have an en-caul birth. 

It's a pretty rare feat, with one site saying that an “en-caul” birth, when the baby is born with the entire amniotic sac still intact only occurs in 1 out of every 80,000 births. (So how crazy is it that Leah Outten of The Grace Bond has had not one, but two babies born with caul?)

And doctors are Cedars-Sinai Medical Center recently released this amazing video that shows a baby born in the entire sac in a way that you've never seen before. 

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The doctors said it felt “like a moment of awe” and watching the video, I would have to say that I agree! It looks like a rare glimpse into the womb, that in-between state between this world and the world that exists only with mother and baby. 

{ MORE: The Ultimate Home Birth Kit: Everything You'll Need (and Want) }

And because it's such a rarity and a rather breathtaking site, the caul, which is the term for the amniotic sac membrane, or a part of it, which can also happen, was viewed as a good luck charm back in the day.  

Historically, women used to sell their babies' cauls, if they were lucky enough to be born with one and they were prized for being everything from good luck to holding actual magical properties against evil and witches' spells. They were especially valued by sailors, who used to take them along their seafaring journeys as a protection against drowning. (Maybe since the caul used to house babies in the amniotic fluid? I'm not seeing the connection …)

Today, while we may not see the caul as magical or a good-luck charm, it's still a pretty cool sight to see. 

Did you have a baby born “in the caul?”

What do you think?

This Is What A Baby Born In The Amniotic Sac Looks Like

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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5 comments

  1. Profile photo of Niki Niki says:

    With my second baby, my daughter, they broke my water as she was coming out! She was so close to being born in the sac!!

  2. Profile photo of anita wright anita wright says:

    Funny because I felt several of my children would have been born just as this because the dr. Have said I’m ready but my water has not broken after waiting and talking over with another dr. They desired to break my sac dr was very cautious step back like the matrix but my husband to slow had a whol leg and foot full lol out of (8) children this has happen several times its a wonder the dr. Has never allowed it to fully happen this looks amazing

  3. Profile photo of Marcy Marcy says:

    My now 2-year-old baby boy was born in the sac. I remember thinking while pushing “did my water break yet? Why isn’t my mid-wife breaking it for me?” I didn’t know that babies could be born before your water breaking. My husband saw a big bubble coming out and was a bit perplexed but hid his confusion well. While pushing my baby out the sac finally broke and water was everywhere, even on my husbands pants. Later my midwife thanked me for one of the most amazing births she had ever witnessed in her 20+ years of midwifery and at first I did not understand why she said that. She explained that it is rare to see a baby born in the caul and shared the story about sailors acquiring a piece of such caul believing it brought them luck, protecting them from drowning.

  4. Profile photo of nicole nicole says:

    My twins were both born in the sac.

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