This video gives us a an incredible look at a cesarean that results in the baby being born en caul. Warning: Contains graphic footage of childbirth.
Childbirth is always an amazing, miraculous thing to witness, but this particular birth video is something else. Birth Without Fear (a Facebook page that sheds light on the wide of choices and outcomes that are possible where childbirth is concerned) shared the video and we cannot look away. In it, a baby is delivered via C-section, and the video clearly shows the baby emerge into the world...inside the amniotic sac.
It's absolutely amazing to see the team that is delivering the baby hold the entire amniotic sac, lead the baby into the world, and eventually cut the sac away and pull the child out of it.
When a baby is born partly covered by the amniotic sac, it's called a "caul"—when this occurs, the sac usually covers the baby's head, sort of like helmet would. The birth shown in the video represents a possibly that rarely occurs: When a baby is entirely enclosed within the sac, it's called an en caul birth, and this sort of scenario is very rare.
But as rare as en caul births may be (as we've previously reported, they occur in about one out of every 80,000 births), they aren't inherently unsafe. Of course, it looks a little scary, and several Facebook users left comments expressing concern after watching the video—but according to Gino Pecoraro, MBBS, a Brisbane-based OBGYN, the baby in the video appears to be perfectly safe.
"The bottom line is that while it's uncommon, it's only around 10 seconds. You could take much longer to get a baby out during a difficult caesarean so I wouldn't think that anything that happened here was unsafe," Dr. Pecoraro told the Daily Mail. "In the olden days babies that were born in the sac were told they should be sailors because if you were born in the caul you were supposed to never be able to drown. That was the old wives tale which was very cute."