What are the pros and cons of delivering in the caul? Any personal experiences with this type of event?

I ask, because the one labor and birth that was most comfortable for me was my 2nd...during which the water wasn't broken until I was complete. The contractions were bearable, baby never had any signs of distress...it was such a comfortable experience. None of my waters have broken spontaneously, so I am guessing that, if I opt for a midwife-tended labor, my child may have the opportunity to be born in the caul.

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Hi Kayla,

The most positive thing about babies being born in the caul (in the bag of water) is that the membranes are so slippery, women almost never tear when babies are born like this. Unfortunately it is a rare event that babies are born like this, but it is said that a baby born in the caul is a special child. I don't believe there are any bad things except you need to get the membranes away from the babies face when the head is out so baby can take its first breath.

Good Luck!

Jackie Belau
www.BetterBirthAmerica.com
Because of the latest studies showing that AROM doesn't consistently decrease labor times (it was shown to be most effective in combination with pitocin for induction), the University of Washington Medical Center is giving a bottle of champagne to providers that deliver a baby there still in the caul.

From what I've gathered, various cultures have thought babies born in the amniotic sac are special, as well as those born in water. Those babies usually become priests/wise people in those cultures--they turn into people more calm and thoughtful than others. It seems that these more gentle birth methods have a positive effect on the child. I think that points to just how important the birth process is: it can shape a child's character, a child's life. Other cultures treat pregnancy, even pre-conception/conception, as a sacred time--something to be entered into thoughtfully, calmly. And they continue to hold that sacredness after the baby's born.

That's one of the things I'd love to encourage birth here to become. :o)
I asked my midwife about it (a CNM) and I was a little bit put off by her response. She said that she doesn't think there are any benefits, but there is a big drawback. That is that there is no way to prepare for meconium in the fluid if you don't see it during the rupturing of the membranes. She also suggested that the baby would inhale the fluid before the bag was ruptured.

I am very confused by those statements. I know that I was much more comfortable with my late rupture baby than with the others, and that seems logical. Instead of hard skull on spine action (as my babes are born all occiput posterior), there's sort of a water-barrier there. Plus, I didn't think the baby took the first breath until he/she hit air, which would be after the sac was removed anyways.

I thought I'd be set with a midwife for a good birth experience. Now I'm concerned a little. I'm also scheduled for an OB consult next week (37 wks) in which, as she described "we'll look at the baby in an ultrasound to make sure that baby's not too big and that I'm not high risk."

So, a little nervous, now.
You might want to consider interviewing another midwife. For one, of course the baby will not try to breathe air until after air hits the skin--you don't want to delay this too long, of course (because once the placenta detaches the baby no longer gets oxygen from the cord), but the baby's been in that sac for forty weeks. It's not going to drown while it's still in the sac.

I'm not as sure about the meconium, but it doesn't make much sense to me: if there was meconium, you'd be able to see it through the sac (it's usually transparent AFAIK.) Even more so, you'd have control over how the caul would break.

Kayla Dolan said:
I asked my midwife about it (a CNM) and I was a little bit put off by her response. She said that she doesn't think there are any benefits, but there is a big drawback. That is that there is no way to prepare for meconium in the fluid if you don't see it during the rupturing of the membranes. She also suggested that the baby would inhale the fluid before the bag was ruptured.

I am very confused by those statements. I know that I was much more comfortable with my late rupture baby than with the others, and that seems logical. Instead of hard skull on spine action (as my babes are born all occiput posterior), there's sort of a water-barrier there. Plus, I didn't think the baby took the first breath until he/she hit air, which would be after the sac was removed anyways.

I thought I'd be set with a midwife for a good birth experience. Now I'm concerned a little. I'm also scheduled for an OB consult next week (37 wks) in which, as she described "we'll look at the baby in an ultrasound to make sure that baby's not too big and that I'm not high risk."

So, a little nervous, now.
My 3rd son was born with Meconium in the amniotic fluid. From everything I've read (and what my midwife stated), even if a baby inhales some of the meconium, it is rarely life threatening (and there will be distress signs from the baby--wheezing, low apgar, etc) that the meconium is causing issues.

My son did actually take in some meconium (a little bit of wheezing, but heart rate, color, etc was all good). He was a bit congested for a few days, but it all resolved itself and he's healthy and fine.

Here is one thing I've learned: CNMs are Midwives trained by the medical profession, therefore they approach labor/delivery very similarly to the medical profession (not all, but the vast majority). They are also "bound" by hospital and insurance guidelines.

A CPM is a "fire trained" midwife, who has attended countless births and is not bound by any guidelines, except her own, in which it is to always do right by mom/baby. They believe in the power of a woman's body and the resiliency of babies. They do not worry about the "what ifs" instead choosing to concentrate on the "right now".

I would totally consider finding another midwife.
Hi Kayla,

You may have had your baby by now. And if you have, congratulations!!
If not, then delivering 'in the caul' is not dangerous.

This shows how natural the body is. When we look at animals they 90% of the time deliver their young in the bag. When farmers witness animal births, the young usually are delivered in the caul. We see nothing wrong in that. Yet, as humans we question, doubt.

For the two waterbirths I have been blessed to witness. We kept baby in the water and broke the bag in the water. so baby was not traumatized. It is the most wonderful experience to see a baby still moving in water under water.

Unfortunately, this type of birth is rare. So if you happen to experience this again you are truly special. They say a child born in hhe caul is a special child too.

Best wishes

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