Born in the Caul

by Birth Without Fear on October 11, 2011

Every once in a while, that special bag of waters that protectively surrounds our babies stays intact as baby comes earthside. Here are two example sent in from women in our BWF Community!

A BWF Mama sent this photo of her baby birthing in the caul.

She says, “My midwives did not intervene at all.  I was involuntarily pushing as this shot was taken by my photographer, Gara Hill. Shortly after the water broke, and with the next contraction my daughter was born. Feeling the water break was the most indescribable, unreal feeling!”

baby

Next is a video that I’ve shared before, but Samantha (the midwife) sent to me again. It’s a beautiful water birth of a baby born in the caul. Now, I’m going to warn you now (as many of you are like me), at the end, the other midwife does ‘interfere’. This is a beautiful birth, caught on video, that they are willing to share with all of us!

Samantha explains,” We’ve gotten a lot of comments about that. I was videoing and supervising a fairly new student. It was the first underwater caul birth for both of us and she was being cautious. I think we were both concerned that if she brought baby out without removing the sac first, the sac might plaster itself to the face and be more difficult to remove. The sac was almost completely intact. One doesn’t get many opportunities to practice this as so few sacs remain intact during birth. She did what she thought was safest.

I read the comments on my videos and do listen to the criticisms. When I was trained in water birth, I was taught there was no benefit to leaving the baby in the water once it is born.”

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Just for fun: In medieval times the appearance of a caul on a newborn baby was seen as a sign of good luck. It was considered an omen that the child was destined for greatness. Gathering the caul onto paper was considered an important tradition of childbirth: the midwife would rub a sheet of paper across the baby’s head and face, pressing the material of the caul onto the paper. The caul would then be presented to the mother, to be kept as an heirloom. Some Early Modern European traditions linked caul birth to the ability to defend fertility and the harvest against the forces of evil, particularly witches and sorcerers. (Can read more here.)

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany October 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Wow simply amazing!

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Adria October 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm

My baby was also a waterbirth and he was born in the Caul. Don’t have any good pictures of it , but it was amazing. It was also an HBAC. He was 7# 11 oz. Born May 29, 2011.

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Zhandra October 11, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Adria, your precious babe was born on my birthday :) Congratulations on your HBAC <3

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Mandy October 11, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Love. This is yet another reason I get so crazy reading “mainstream” birth stories: When OBs break laboring mama’s water! First of all, labor is markedly less uncomfortable with an intact sac, and it doesn’t hurt the babes to stay in the sac throughout the birthing process…if doctors want to be of service, unless necessary, they can leave the mamas ALONE! xoxo

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Zhandra October 11, 2011 at 8:58 pm

My birth story was posted here on BWF earlier today… I do partially attribute the lack of pain in my labor to having an intact sac until right at the end :)

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Kimberly October 30, 2011 at 3:16 am

I actually think the opposite about comfort. When I was laboring with my last baby, I felt so much tension when my waters were still intact. Lucky for me, I SROM’d and the attending OB never got close to my waters…but I felt so much better after my waters broke. I was however dilated to an 8 around the time they broke, and dilated to a 10 and delivered her 14 minutes after they broke so I’m not sure if that is all related but I just felt this huge sense of relief as soon as they broke.

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molly October 13, 2011 at 2:49 pm

My little boy was also born in the caul (though not a water birth). Every country seems to have strong traditional beliefs regarding caul births -nearly all relate to luck and greatness. Here in Ireland the belief is that the person can never drown & fishermen used to take a piece of a caul to sea as good luck. In Easter Europe however (romania I think) the belief is that the baby will turn into a vampire! ;)

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Kimberly October 30, 2011 at 3:17 am

I always thought that would be the coolest thing to have a baby born in the caul. Amazing. :)

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Jenee Ohrvall October 30, 2011 at 6:43 am

One of my favorite birth videos! Thanks for sharing. You’re doing a great job!

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suzi October 30, 2011 at 4:52 pm

ladies who have something to compare to… is a caul baby less painful? my first daughter was with an epi, but my second natural and born in the caul. with every contraction i begged my waters to go as the pressure was so so intense…. is that just a natural birth thing? or was it because she was in the caul?

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Julia January 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm

My youngest was almost born in the Caul, it broke just as I started pushing and he was born minutes after. It was a much less painful labor then the 3 I had before that my water was broken early in active labor.

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Michelle April 2, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Awesome :) My second daughter was pretty much born in her caul too. It broke as her body shot out of me haha! I can remember birthing her head while the bag was still intact and touching it felt like a gooey water balloon. Very bizarre but very, very cool :)

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Kyle Anne June 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm

This is awesome! AND it takes place in my hometown of Cape Coral, where I’m planning on giving birth! Definitely looking into Baby Love Birthing Center.

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Samantha September 26, 2012 at 1:04 am

Another tradition of the caul-bearers, they were supposed to be protected while at sea and never drown. Sailors would keep cauls (dried) in small leather sacks on a necklace as an amulet to protect from drowning. :)

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Kayla August 28, 2013 at 12:48 am

I had a son two weeks ago. He was born in the caul. The membranes were fully intact. I was alone during the birth in another city knowing no one. The nurse left me alone for a another patient. I was five centimeters dialated. A few moments later I ran her “he;s coming hurry” She told me no it;s just a strong contraction. I was OMG NO, he’s coming now. I tried to hold him in until she got back. That was obviously not going to happen!

She came rushing in and Dr, was there too. OMG he was coming. He’s here!! Yes he was on the bed. in the amniotic sac. The doctor said he was looking around while in it trying to get out shaking his head side to side. When they took him out of it he was screaming mad. LOL I felt he was an easy birth. But then again I didn’t have to push… So what do I know compared to those who push?

I felt blessed and that he was special immediately after. Two weeks later we have an amazing bond. He was a very high risk pregnancy and I prayed that he would have a non traumatic birth and come into the world easily and that I could some how relax and just “open up for him when he came into the world”. And I got my wish.

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Kayla August 28, 2013 at 12:50 am

Eww sorry for the typos! I was one key over…

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Lu September 27, 2013 at 10:20 pm

I was born in the caul and have always thought I was lucky even when I was very small. Growing up I knew I was different but wasn’t sure why. I have a grand daughter who is 3 who was also born in the caul. Since her birth I found out that I too was born that way! Since then I’ve read lots on the subject and would like to talk to others born in this way.

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KeyzzDzz December 7, 2013 at 5:14 am

… I was born in a ear looped Face Caul 60 years ago…. and I must say my life has been very blessed. Not in the way some people associate “Being Blessed” with. Most think this means being Rich or Affluent … on the contrary… I have never been more than lower middle class…. and a single Mother at that,. But I never wanted for nothing… I have always been happy in my life…. the only time I have found myself depressed was when I wasnt helping humanity or even more so… ANIMALS! I have always had a connection with animals that is unmatched. ALL Animals. Ive been able to calm a snarling dog…. or sit amongst a Bull Elk with his Does … ( not immediately..!. but with time…. WEEKS!). Ive always had animals and have NEVER had to put a leash on any of them. My Dogs would stay in my truck with the windows all the way down… parked in the shade, for HOURS, while I would go grocery shopping. Even a Ferret I had for 5 years needed no restraint. I had no fence around my place… and had a doggie door… so she came & went as she pleased.. and NEVER left my property.
~~ I am positive this is “My Blessing of the Caul!” …. and I am deeply grateful.
Robin & The Critters

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