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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