There’s something special about a baby being born “in the caul”….meaning, the amniotic sac remains intact until baby is most or all of the way born. Cultures all around the world have things to say about babies born in the caul – all of them special and good! (babies will have a blessed life, they will have a special insight or empathy for others, baby will have second sight…if they are a sailor, they will never drown at sea…)

It is a rare occurrence due to the fact that so many care providers will artificially break the waters if mom is close to pushing and they haven’t broken yet. As a homebirth midwife, I see them more often because I do not break waters without a good medical indication to do so.

However…even though I may see them more often than a nurse or a doctor, we don’t usually get an opportunity to photograph it – and RARELY do we get mom who chooses a position which is conducive to such beautiful photographs! (we asked this mother repeatedly if this was the position she wanted to be in…and it was, indeed, her chosen position)  It also needs to be said that while the mother chose this position to birth in, and her baby had her hand up by her chin…yet again we see that mother’s know their own bodies as this mother birthed her baby gently and without ANY tears or injuries to herself AT ALL!  GO MAMA!!

Here are some amazing pictures of a baby born in the caul….thank you to the family for allowing Nurturing Hearts to witness her baby’s birth, but also for allowing us to share these awesome pictures!!


Baby is fully crowned...the white is vernix, the baby's dark hair is floating behind.


The head is slowly born....


Head is out....!!!


If you loose closely you can see the baby's eyes and nose. There is a pocket of fluid inside the sac on the bottom towards the bed.


We wait for the next contraction...see her little nose?


mom starts to push again....the baby's fingers can just start to be seen coming out towards the top...


The hand starts to be born...


It's been about 3 minutes here since the head was born...but baby looks AWESOME!


Mom pushes...the arm is almost out, all of baby is still tucked inside the amniotic sac.


Mom pushes, and midwife gets ready to catch the baby...


The sac is still intact and baby's shoulders come free.


here comes the baby!


the baby's right arm breaks free of the sac - the head and left arm are still tucked inside


The midwife begins to unwrap the baby as she hands her over to her mommy and daddy...!!! I know it's hard to see, but the baby's head and body are still completely covered in the membranes - the midwife's right thumb is under the membranes getting ready to gently lift them free - you can see the edge of the membranes on her thumb (her thumb is inside the membranes, the rest of her hands outside of them)...they are very transparent and shiny! In this photograph, the entire baby is still encased except the right arm and right leg. If you look very closely you can see the shiny membranes still encasing the baby's left leg even!



  1. SO amazing. Blessed baby for sure.

    Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink
  2. Kelli wrote:

    So beautiful and amazing! I don’t know if the blessed beginning comes from the rare type of birth or simply the fact that a birth like this MUST be unhindered and that is a blessing in itself. Either way I’m honored to have seen such beautiful pictures, thank you.

    Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink
  3. Rebecca wrote:

    Wow! These are amazing, beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing!

    Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 12:20 am | Permalink
  4. Kolleen wrote:

    ABSOLUTELY AMAZING pics!! What an incredible photo op!! That is so cool =)

    Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 12:27 am | Permalink
  5. Shannon Guse wrote:

    So beautiful!!!!! Congratulations to the mama for a beautiful baby and beautiful birth!!

    Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 12:31 am | Permalink
  6. Laura wrote:

    Thank you, baby’s amazing parent, that you let us see that!

    Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 5:13 am | Permalink
  7. Soshanna wrote:

    Wow, what beautiful pictures. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 7:26 am | Permalink
  8. Dianne wrote:

    What a great series of photos…The best I’ve ever seen of baby being born in the caul! Thanks for sharing and way to be patient, Mama!

    Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  9. Hannah Jones wrote:

    How beautiful.I love how you said the midwife was going to unwrap the baby. A baby truly is a gift, and what a great way to receive your gift! I LOVE this!

    Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
  10. Wendy wrote:

    I love how the midwife’s hands are respectfully outof the mother’s vagina and away from the baby – she is a true babycatcher. Lovely photos, looks like a wonderful, gentle birth.

    Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  11. Linda wrote:

    Unbelievable! Thanks for sharing.

    Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink
  12. Saoirsewoman wrote:

    Beautiful photos. But where is the mother’s pubic hair? I hope she was on her back because of genuine unbounded choice.

    Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Permalink
  13. elfanie wrote:

    Pubic Hair: The most requested that things other than baby be blurred out…so I accommodated that wish.

    I wish she could comment to the position being her choice – but she wishes to remain anonymous so you will just need to take my word for it. It was her choice.

    Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Permalink
  14. Ashley H wrote:

    This could totally be MY birth story as well! My daughter was born at home in the caul and I also did not tear at all. It was a beautiful birth. This is so magical..thank you for sharing!

    Monday, October 31, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink
  15. Ashley H wrote:

    And I was also on my back by choice! After 40 hours of labor I was too exhausted to be in any other position

    Monday, October 31, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Permalink
  16. sara r. wrote:

    What awesome pictures; thanks for sharing!

    Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 9:41 am | Permalink
  17. electra wrote:

    THIS IS AMAZING!! Thank you thank you to NHBS and the family for providing these pictures. Gorgeous.

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 10:23 am | Permalink
  18. Jane Craker wrote:

    I had three spectacular births however that is just the most precious thing captured on film!!!
    Congrats to mum and a gorgeous baby!!

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 5:45 am | Permalink
  19. Kami Asana wrote:

    Magical birth. I can’t stop smiling. The pictures show how amazing bringing new life into the world really is. Babies truly are a blessing and should always be treated as such.

    Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Permalink
  20. kesha wrote:

    that baby is so cute. cool pics

    Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink
  21. Glorfia wrote:

    Why is the nurse/doctor wearing a WATCH!!! Really?!

    Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink
  22. Pedro Toth wrote:

    I’ve been born like this…!
    And we defendet a natural birth for all of our 4 children, 2 of them we did alone, my wife and me, due to the circonstances…
    It’s a big emotion for me to see this fotos. Grateful for my parents and for to be part of the stream of live!

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink
  23. julia wrote:

    Wow that’s amazing, such of Gods wonderful blessings to a mother . Very nice descrpited pictures
    Thank you to the mother for sharing your birth

    Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 2:12 am | Permalink
  24. Sarah wrote:

    What a beautiful birth & beautiful pictures! Baby looks so strong and healthy, thank you so much for sharing these photos! I feel so blessed to have seen!

    Monday, August 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink
  25. Oladipo wrote:

    Wow! Amazing and Enlightening. Thanks to the parent and all for the beautiful shots.

    Friday, September 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink
  26. Monica M wrote:

    This looks wonderful! Birth is a very beautiful thing and one of the most important aspects of being a woman is the ability to carry your young safe inside your body and welcoming your child to the outside world to start their journey in life. I believe the best method for mothers is to give birth naturally, not only is it empowering but it benefits your child from unnecessary medication. When I give birth to my first, I’m choosing a traditional, non-medicated birth and maybe a water birth If I choose to have a second.

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink
  27. Jade Krim wrote:

    My mother just pasted away yesterday. She was 85 yrs old and was born with a caul. I have the caul as it was saved by my grandfather. It is on a piece of a board and very, very dried out. It will go back with her to heaven as the old wives tales say that the “caul must return to heaven with the owner”. Rest in piece my Mother. You are very special!

    Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Permalink
  28. SG wrote:

    Good God almighty!
    The pain and work some poor women have to endure just to bring life into this world…
    Sorry that I do not agree with many of these comments, and find this beautiful but rather extraordinarily scary and painful-looking. Thanks for sharing though.

    Friday, August 1, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink
  29. Wow! I am so ignorant! I didn’t even know thus happened! My waters were broken by midwife in all 3 of my sons births. Surely, this us the way God intended.

    I have been with animals who have given birth and remember thinking that it must be easier to pass down the birth canal enveloped in such a lubricating substance.

    Thank you for these photos, absolutely PRECIOUS!

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 4:55 am | Permalink

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