Birth videos are hardly breaking news. Even though your own clips of your baby’s birth are precious (to you, at least), they probably won’t go viral. Sorry.
That said, when Jasmine Perez posted a birth video, it did. Why?
Perez’s clip features an awesomely amazing birth – en-caul. If you don’t know what that means (or why it’s so darn amazing), an en-caul birth happens when the baby comes out entirely in the amniotic sac. With more than 19 million views and 58,000 Facebook shares, this video is an attention-grabber.
asi como cuando dicen ” nacio ENMANTILLAO” bueno… asi!
Posted by Jasmine Perez on Tuesday, 16 February 2016
Does this video leave you wondering how, why and just how much this type of birth happens? In a typical birth, the amniotic sac breaks before mum pushed baby out. A very few births result in what’s known as a ‘caul birth’. This is a partial covering, where the amniotic sac stays stuck around the baby’s head. A full covering (where the sac is completely intact at the time of birth) is even less common. According to an interview with CNN, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center pros say that a full ‘en-caul’ only happens less than once for every 80,000 births.
Given the rarity of an en-caul birth, it’s no wonder why this video went viral. Not only do doctors seldom see this type of birth, but catching it on video isn’t something that the internet sees every day. As if it’s not amazing enough to see the baby in the full amniotic sac (it’s almost like getting an in utero sneak peek), the video also shows what happens next. Despite the delicate membrane, the newborn is still moving inside of the sac. As the video unfolds, the doctor gently cuts away the amniotic sac, allowing the baby to come spilling out. The result? A healthy baby, born in a not so of-the-norm way!
The unique nature of this childbirth scenario has a history that goes well beyond the most recent viral video. Folklore and mythology surrounding this type of birth says that babies born encaul have life-long good luck. Other myths about en-caul babies include the belief that these individuals have a natural affinity for the water (possibly because they are literally born in it) and that they are born leaders. In medieval times it’s rumored that women would save the sacs from en-caul babies and sell them to sailors. Yuck, and why? Way back when, sailors believed that the caul could protect them from evil on the seas and drowning.
Caul and en-caul births have produced some fairly famous names over the years. Napoleon Bonaparte, Charlemagne and Albert Einstein were all supposedly en-caul babies. Much more recently, celeb Jessica Alba gave birth to a baby en-caul. In 2011 Alba’s daughter Haven was born completely in the sac. The actress told People, “Cash said, ‘She was born in her safe haven.’
If you’ve never seen (or heard of, for that matter) an en-caul birth, watching this video is a total eye-opener. The myths, the miracle and the major-ness of this birth are something that you certainly don’t see every day.