What is En Caul Birth & How is it Different From Caul Birth?

What is En Caul Birth?

En caul birth is childbirth when the baby comes out inside an intact amniotic sac. The newborn looks wrapped in a soft jelly-like bubble.

En caul birth is also known as a veiled birth and the occurrence is rare i.e. 1 in 80000 births.(1)

What is En Caul Birth?

Causes Of En Caul Birth

The amniotic sac is a bag of fluid (amniotic fluid) inside the womb which starts getting filled soon after conception. It is also called as membranes as it is made up of two layers.

Amniotic fluid is a light yellow liquid that protects the baby inside the womb and keeps it warm. The baby grows inside the sac and comfortably floats in it. The baby also at times drinks this fluid. This is a magic juice for the baby as it helps in developing the baby’s lungs, stomach intestine, muscles, and bones. This fluid is also responsible to help baby have their first poop after delivery.

En caul birth is less common in vaginal deliveries as in this type of delivery the amniotic sac ruptures when a female is about to go into labor.

Sometimes it happens that a female goes into labor without the sac breaking. This is when the baby is born en caul.

During a cesarean section the doctor goes through the amniotic sac to lift up the baby. Sometimes they choose to lift the entire baby and the amniotic sac for an en caul birth.

How Is En Caul Birth Different From Caul Birth?

Caul birth is different from en caul birth.

In caul birth, the baby born is born with caul i.e. small piece of membranes or sac cover the head or the face of the baby. It happens when a small piece of the lining of the sac breaks away and sticks around the head, face or both, of the baby. Sometimes the membrane is big enough to drape over the shoulder and the chest.

Therefore it is different from en caul birth where the baby is entirely covered in a sac.

What Happens After An En Caul Birth?

After an en caul birth, the healthcare provider gently snips away the sac to open it. The water begins to drain out of the sac and it shrinks a bit around the baby.

Most of the time the squirming baby breaks opens the en caul just after birth.

There is plenty of air and food inside the amniotic sac for the baby during and after the birth. As the umbilical cord connected to the belly button is filled with oxygen-rich blood.

En caul births are not much different from other births. In fact, some traditions believe these births to be spiritual or magical. Baby born en caul is considered good luck for self and the parents. Some cultures even save the caul as a good luck charm.(2)

En caul births are rare and some doctors do not witness it in their entire career. It is not dangerous or bad, in fact, you can consider yourself extra fortunate if your little one is born inside such a water balloon.

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