‘En Caul’ Birth: Premature Baby Born In Amniotic Sac Leaves Doctors Speechless

Photo credit: Veejay Villafranca/Getty Images

Baby Silas Philips is part of rare air. The pre-term baby was born in his mom’s amniotic sac and is doing well three months later. The “en caul” birth is so rare, labor and delivery doctors only see one in every 80,000 live births.

A woman who gave birth to a premature baby was hoping for a healthy delivery. Instead, the California woman took part in history with a very rare “en caul” birth. The child born in the amniotic sac was so unexpected; it left the doctors speechless, according to a Huffington Post news report.

On December 6, staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center prepared to deliver a baby via C-section. It’s unknown what precipitated the early delivery, but doctors assembled to bring the infant into the world at just 26 weeks. Little did they know; the child was encased in the amniotic sac, the chamber that typically houses protective fluid while the baby develops in its mother’s womb.

During the surgery, doctors realized the baby was in the sac, but still alive. The photos snapped of the baby show him in the fetal position still attached to the umbilical cord, which supplies oxygen and nutrients for growth. His body, particularly the hands and feet, are clearly seen in images doctors took to document the historical en caul birth aka “veiled birth.” 

What’s odd is that the amniotic sac typically ruptures after birth. The conventional reference is a woman’s “water breaking.” However, the en caul birth sac was still intact even when Dr. Binder placed the child on the delivery table for inspection and pictures. He weighed in on the modern medical miracle.

“Even though it sounds cliched, we caught our breath. It really felt like a moment of awe… and one that will stick in my moment for some time. He was seconds old and still in the water bag, with the placenta and umbilical cord tucked inside.”

Ironically, Silas’ mom didn’t realize all the fuss was going on about her new baby and the celebrity status they both had been bestowed in the California hospital. She was astonished after her mother showed her the photos of the baby inside the amniotic sac.

“It was actually really cool to see. And when I heard that was actually really rare I was like ‘oh my gosh, you’re a special little baby.’”

Four years ago, actress Jessica Alba shared the story of the en caul birth of her child. Baby Haven, like Silas, was also born in the amniotic sac. He and his famous mom are doing well today. And despite Silas being born three months short of full-term, he is expected to develop normally.



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