16 Rare Photos of Babies Born in the Amniotic Sac

Suzee Skwiot | Jan 11, 2018 Pregnancy


One Tree Photography

All births are unique and special in their own way. But babies born en caul are some of the rarest types of births in the world today. Having an en caul birth is so rare, in fact, that many moms have never even heard of it until it happens to them. A caul birth occurs in about 1 in every 80,000 births. Babies lucky enough to come into this world covered in their caul are said to be lucky and have a special affinity for water (and if moms are a fan of Stephen King's The Shining, maybe some psychic talents too!).

The caul is a part of every birth, it's just very uncommon that newborn babies end up bringing it along while making their big debut. This thin membrane is also known as the amniotic sac. Newborns can come into the world with just a piece of it on them, draped in it like a cloak, or -- even more rarely -- entirely encased within it.

Just as these births are extremely rare, they are also extremely beautiful. For women who are lucky enough to have a birth photographer present with them during delivery (or a quick-thinking spouse with a camera), the photos can be truly stunning.

More from CafeMom: 13 Birth Photos That Capture the True Connection Between Mom & Baby

As if we needed any more proof about how incredible birth is, the following photos are beautiful, special, even a little bit magical -- and mark the exact moment when an en caul child has been born.

  • Why, Hello There

    1

    "Sometimes, babies are born en caul -- what's so scary about that?!" says photographer Lacey Barratt. "I believe too many mums suffer the repercussions of artificial rupture of membranes instead of letting them birth how their body leads them to." Barratt captured this magical shot of a mom who was lucky to join a rare group.

    More from CafeMom: 12 Extraordinary Images That Capture the Moment Moms Met Their New Babies

  • Nice to Meet You

    2

    This photo, taken by Leilani Rogers, was one of the best photos of the year, according to the the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers. And we can see why. Rogers captured the exact moment when baby entered the world, and we can see the entire newborn -- head, arms, legs, everything.

  • Welcome to the World!

    3

    This photo, along with the next, were captured in an at-home water birth. Jessica Peterson of One Tree Photography shot the sequence just as the little one made its way out in a birthing tub.

  • Part Two

    4

    Immediately after the baby was born, the midwives began to peel the membrane off the newborn, as most doctors suggest should be done. The amniotic sac never lasts long post-birth, which is what makes it so rare and spectacular to see it intact.

  • Perfect Timing

    5

    This photo, captured by Ashley Renee of Beautiful Beginnings Birth, perfectly gets the baby's face in view. It's still wrapped in the membrane, which has yet to be punctured, but one can still see so many details.

  • Before the 'Pop'

    6

    Before this little one was able to be held by his parents, measured, and checked, the doula photographer snapped this gorgeous photo. Membrane intact, still blissfully rounded, the baby had yet to realize it had arrived!

  • Complete Package

    7

    In this C-section birth, the little guy was taken out in a complete full package. Years later, his dad reports that he's doing perfectly well! (And is one lucky guy -- naturally.)

  • Not Yet Ready

    8

    Photographer Desiree Chapman captured this water birth, in which the baby boy was born en caul. The mom says she later discovered that had he been born with an already ruptured membrane, the birth would have been much more painful.

    More from CafeMom: Incredible Images of Babies Being Born Give Us a Look at the Miracle of Birth

  • Peeling Away

    9

    Just moments after birth, photographer Lynsey Stone caught the exact time when the midwife began to peel the membrane off this newborn. The baby's mom got to watch as her baby emerged all over again.

  • A total surprise

    10

    Barbara Demske's son, Nolan, was born with a veil (another name for a baby born en caul). "I did not know that he was 'veiled' at the time of delivery," she shares. "It is only looking back at the picture and hearing from my doula that I even realized that this happened."

  • An intact sac

    11

    Stacey of Freckle Face Photography captured this amazing image of a baby mid-delivery while still totally encased in its caul. You can see all the amniotic fluids forming a bubble at the top of the baby's head!

  • A calm en caul birth

    12

    Between the soothing water and its total body caul, this baby had a super calm entry into the world. What's amazing is how clearly visible the little one's face still is. Truly magical!

  • The rarest of twin births

    13

    Believe it or not, en caul births can even happen with multiples. Mom Bec Patricks shared this amazing photo of her now 9-year-old son being born en caul just moments after his twin entered the world.

  • A partial caul

    14

    In this photo taken by doula Grace Greene, the baby's not encased in the caul so much as wearing it. This partial type of en caul birth is still considered special and extremely rare.

  • A comfy clear bubble

    15

    In this photo taken by photographer Lelani Rogers, it's easy to see just how the baby curls up to fit inside the womb. En caul births are a stunning front row seat to how babies look before they are even born.

  • One in a billion

    16

    This mom not only gave birth in a car on the way to the hospital, the baby was also born totally en caul. "I did rub his face with my finger through the sac and he moved his hands and feet up to his face. That's when we knew he was okay," mom Raelin Scurry tells CafeMom. A surprise car birth and born en caul -- this baby's gonna win lotto one day for sure!

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