With a tiny one in 80,000 chance of a baby being born snuggled in its amniotic sac, it’s no wonder we get excited when we glimpse this “en caul” phenomenon.
What is an “en caul” birth?
So-called “caul babies” who arrive in the world with parts of the amniotic sac or caul (also called the veil) still covering their face or body have it removed by a doctor, doula or midwife after the birth. This is sometimes known as being ‘born with a shirt’ or ‘born with a veil’.
Being tucked in the birth sac during labour and birth helps to protect the baby from contractions and makes for a gentler birth.
While most “en caul” babies are born early, experts now suggest that babies in danger of being born prematurely should be delivered “en caul” to give them a gentler start in life, and maintain the womb-like environment for as long as possible.
Amazing “en caul” babies arriving in the world
1. “This was such a pivotal moment for me as a birth photographer. Enjoy.” – Leilani Rogers
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2. “There are many good luck superstitions tied to a baby being born in the caul! It’s certainly fun to capture on camera!” – Melissa Cate Photography
4. “Gorgeous baby born en caul.” – via Monet Nicole Birth Photography
5. “Just born ‘en caul’.” – via Monet Nicole Birth Photography
6 and 7. “Twins born ‘en caul’.” – by Birth Blessings Photography and Doula Services
8. “Within a few minutes a head started to emerge with a thick bag of water surrounding her. As my hands placed her on her moms chest, she was truly still between two worlds. My fingers grabbed the slimy veil that rest over her face. Pulling it back, I thanked her for letting me unveil her. This sweet baby laid on her momma, taking in her whole world. Not one cry for the first few hours following her birth. Just in complete awe of the life she was given.” – Lindsey Meehleis
9. “A rare image of a baby half born in her caul.” – by Birth Photographer Morag Hastings
10. “How amazing is this baby en-caul? Did you know your waters don’t always have to ‘break’? If left alone, the amniotic sac and membranes will release whenever it is ready, or not at all.” – posted by The Birth Space.
11. “Baby was born en caul! Truly an amazing thing to witness” – Kate Murray Birth and Life