Rare birth gives unique look at life inside womb


Here’s a birth photo unlike any you’ve seen before. Baby Silas Johnson was born three months premature – and still inside the amniotic sac.

Doctors at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA were amazed when the tiny boy was born inside an unbroken sac via C-section at 26 weeks gestation on December 6. Such a birth is incredibly rare – usually the sac breaks during labour, or doctors break it when they perform a Caesarean.

Neonatologist William Binder took a photo just seconds after Silas’ birth, as the baby continued to get oxygen via the placenta. The baby is now 10 weeks old and doing well. And he’ll never be forgotten by the doctors in the operating theatre.

“We caught our breath. It really felt like a moment of awe,” Dr Binder says. “This was really a moment that will stick in my memory for some time.”

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The boy’s proud mum, Chelsea Phillips, didn’t even know about the fuss her son’s birth had caused until she saw the photo hours later.

“It was definitely like a clear film where you could definitely make out his head and his hair. He was kind of in a fetal position and you could see like his arms and his legs curled up,” she says. “It was actually really cool to see.”

So-called “en caul” births are rare – it’s estimated they occur in only one in 80,000 deliveries. According to the Daily Mail, Jessica Alba’s daughter, Haven, was born inside the amniotic sac in 2011.

Silas is due home next month, around what would have been his due date. Unsurprisingly, his mum thinks he is absolutely extraordinary.

(via CBS Los Angeles; images via Cedar-Sinai Medical Centre)


Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Michelle is a journalist and mum to two girls who are obsessed with dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and princesses in equal measure. She lives in Melbourne's east with her husband, daughters and a giant, untameable labradoodle. Michelle loves all things vegetarian, wine (it's a fruit) and online shopping.

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