It is estimated that somewhere between one in a 1,000 and one in 80,000 babies will be delivered in an unbroken amniotic sac or with some of the amniotic membrane covering their face. These rare babies are known as Caulbearers.
For centuries, these kids have had a number of myths and legends surrounding them. In medieval Britain, the birth of a Caulbearer was generally a sign of a good omen. It was believed that its birth could be predicted by ‘wise folk.’
But regardless of what myths were true or false about these special babies, today we have some interesting facts about them that we know to be true. Here are some widely known things about special babies born with an intact amniotic sac.
First of all, why are these babies called Caulbearers anyway? That’s because they’re named after the caul. The caul is the thin amniotic membrane around the fetus.
The caul is around the fetus when the baby is still in the womb. Babies born enclosed within the amniotic sac are therefore called “caulbearers.”
When a baby is born with the caul and the amniotic fluid still surrounding them, it is called a veiled birth.
So how exactly is it removed? It can actually be easily removed by a midwife or an obstetrician. Keep reading to find out more about this interesting birth phenomenon!
They note that the amniotic sac is a bag of fluid where the baby floats. The membrane is soft and can be cut easily if the baby is intact.
The baby is therefore unharmed. There are times that the membrane is thicker than usual. However, if the membrane is soft and thin, the doctor simply slips it away from the baby’s skin.
If the membrane is thick, a careful incision is made around the nose to supply air to the baby. Once the fluid is out, they take their first breath.
So, is the amniotic sac dangerous for the baby? As long as the baby is inside the sac, surrounded by the fluids, it’s getting oxygen.
Only when it comes out of the sac does the baby take its first breath. But even though it doesn’t seem to be the biggest deal, it’s not the best way of being born.
If the baby doesn’t break out of the amniotic membrane, there’s no way to know whether or not the baby has passed meconium.
Meconium is a baby’s stool. It can point out fetal distress which can, therefore, lead to a number of complications if it were to go unnoticed.
Typically, this ‘bag of water’ is what notifies most pregnant women that the labor has begun. Their amniotic sac will break or a midwife or a doctor will break it.
There are two different types of amniotic births. The Caul birth and the En-Caul birth. With the first, the baby’s head and face are covered with amniotic sac, which breaks during labor and gets attached to them.
In this situation, the sac can be easily pulled off the face. A doctor can do this through a careful incision near the nostrils of the baby to make breathing easier.
With the En-Caul, the baby is born enclosed inside the amniotic sac. These births are premature so the sac protects the baby from uterine contraction during birth.
Veiled births make the process of labor and delivery less painful because there is less friction and bruising for both the mother and the baby.