A Brazilian woman and her husband were stunned at the delivery of their second twin. The child was born healthy but was incased in a clear, egg-like sac. The rare phenomenon is known as a caul birth.
The amniotic sac serves as a barrier to protect the fetus’ body during pregnancy. The baby inside the sac breathes through the umbilical cord, according to Newsiosity.
Usually, the sac punctures under the strain of childbirth – also known as “water breaking” – but in this case, the amniotic sac stayed intact.
When babies are born en caul, they still act as if they were still in the womb and take in oxygen through the placenta.
Footage of the remarkable childbirth, which took place at a hospital in Barretos, Brazil, was shared in a Facebook post without the unidentified woman’s permission.
Nurses poking and prodding at the sac without breaking it can be seen in the video, according to the New York Times.
“Look what I had the honour of filming in my dear Santa House Mercy,” the nurse, Gih Flor de Lis, wrote, clarifying that the newborn was actually one of a set of twins, the first to be delivered vaginally.
“We were waiting to stabilize the first baby and the second came softly, in fact, look there that beautiful!!! Historic moment! !!!” she wrote in the post.
The video quickly went viral with over 6.8 million views in a day. Many viewers were shocked at the images, however, caul births are a known occurrence among medical experts.
CNN reports an infant born in the Los Angeles Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was born en caul. Silas Philips is one of less than 80,000 babies born with their amniotic sac intact.
When Silas’ mother heard about how rare caul births are, she was dumbfounded. “I was like, oh my gosh, Silas, you’re a little special baby,” she said.
Silas’ doctor snapped a picture of the childbirth and posted it on the official Cedars-Sinai Hospital Facebook page. The photo looks as if Silas is encased in a large water bubble.
“Even though it’s a cliche — we caught our breath,” neonatologist William Binder said. “It really felt like a moment of awe.” The baby’s grandmother later showed the image to his mother, Chelsea Philips.
“It was definitely like a clear film, where you could definitely make out his head and his hair,” said Chelsea. Silas was curled up in fetal position inside.
The doctor also helped Silas to breathe since he was born three months premature via Caesarean section.